PCB chairman Najam Sethi acknowledged that ticket prices for the historic Independence Cup series were too high. Speaking to reporters ahead of the second T20I between Pakistan and ICC World XI at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, he admitted that the board had made mistakes in the ticketing process.
The cricket board’s pricing-policy had been under heavy criticism ever since it introduced the price range of the tickets to be between Rupees 500-8,000 (5-80 USD). The failure seemed evident when there were several pockets of empty seats across the crowd during the first T20I, which was the first international fixture in the country in more than two years, on Tuesday.
When asked if the pricing-policy was to blame for the empty seats, Sethi agreed saying “you are absolutely right about the prices.”
The crowd turnout is expected to be even lower for the second match because of the inadequate ticket sales, a PCB official revealed to Cricingif.
“We have made a mistake in setting such high prices. We were misled by our experience in what happened during the PSL (final, held in Lahore earlier this year) when the prices were unimportant and irrelevant.”
During the PSL final a seat in either of the Imran Khan or Fazal Mehmood enclosure cost rupees 12,000 – exactly double the price for this series.
“People paid the highest prices to come and watch that match,” Sethi continued. “We should have kept lower prices. We will learn from this experience and reduce the prices considerably and significantly in the future.”
Sethi also said that the stringent security measures had played a role in keeping people away. “The security was so tight that many people found it difficult to come,” he said. “Many were dissuaded. Some set out on roads and but couldn’t make it after spending hours en-route. I have received a lot of such complaints. But there is very little I can do about that.”