Fewer than expected fans at National Stadium

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Dec 14, 2021

KARACHI: Contrary to the expectations, the number of spectators at the National Stadium Karachi to witness the first T20 International between Pakistan and West Indies was quite low.

It was expected that the Karachiites would turn up in large numbers to witness the match. It was a working day on Monday and that could be the reason for the low attendance at the National Stadium which will host the three T20I and three ODIs until December 22.

According to a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) source, ticket sale was also not satisfactory. But it is expected that the crowd will come in large numbers as the series progresses as fans might have chosen a particular match to witness.

But it was strange to see that those fans who came to the venue for the first T20 International also were not treated well. They were seen waiting in queues for a long time at the gates. Even at 5:45pm, just 15 minutes before the start of the game, the gates had not been opened.

“The organisers should correct their affairs. We have been waiting for a long time for the gates to open,” Saad Khan, a student, told ‘The News’ in front of Gate No13. When this correspondent asked a police constable why gates were not being opened he said they themselves were waiting for the gates to be opened.

Still the fans were eager to watch the match. “It’s fantastic to have West Indies team in Pakistan after New Zealand cancelled their series before the World Cup,” Hassan, a Karachi University student, told this correspondent. “We will back both the teams,” he said.

“Although West Indies faced some hiccups losing their skipper Pollard due to fitness issues and lost three more players due to covid still the visitors are still tough to beat and I hope it will be a good series,” Hassan said.

The fans did not face any problem in reaching the gates as a shuttle service was operated by the authorities. “There was no issue on that front. We got a shuttle bus,” Naeem, a club cricketer, said.

However, some fans demanded that the ticket prices should be reduced so that everyone could afford to purchase it. Overall, it was a quiet day. The security arrangements were also good and the public also did not face any big issue as in the past.