- Web Desk
World Cup 2023 opener match: Where is the crowd?
- Web Desk
- Oct 05, 2023
AHMEDABAD: The world’s biggest cricket stadium in India’s Ahmedabad wore a deserted look on Thursday as the ICC World Cup 2023 during the New Zealand vs England match.
With a 132,000 capacity, it is the largest cricket stadium in the world, the second-biggest in all of sport, and welcomes the 2019 finalists to begin the famous ODI competition.
However, despite cricket’s huge popularity in India, there appeared to be more than 100,000 empty seats for the opening match.
Fans were left bemused as England’s Jonny Bairstow faced the opening ball of the World Cup against New Zealand’s Trent Boult in front of a glaringly-small crowd.
One wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Look at all those empty seats. It looks awful on TV. Host should always open the WC. Finalists can play the following day.”
Another said: “Genuinely a farce all those empty seats. Shambles from ICC and BCCI. Just give the tickets away.”
A third posted: “It’s a real shame the opening match for the Cricket World Cup has so many empty seats. Should be packed to the rafters.”
Hosts India begin their World Cup campaign in a mouth-watering match against Australia on Sunday – and the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai will no doubt be full.
However, the ICC and BCCI have struggled to shift tickets for any match that does not feature India.
The Narendra Modi Stadium will host three matches of the mega tournament including the blockbuster India-Pakistan clash on October 14 and the final slated for November 19.
The 132,000-capacity venue’s redevelopment was completed in 2021, hosting a day-night Test between India and England, as well as the last two IPL finals.
Efforts were made by the Narendra Modi government to attract fans but the empty seats shocked everyone, with netizens saying, “these pictures are looking so ugly, completely empty stadium just before the first ball”.