Cricket World Cup ticket prices slashed to attract crowds

Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to reduce World Cup tickets prices by more than 50 per cent for some matches not featuring the host nation to boost crowd numbers.

A near capacity crowd of 35,000 turned up to see the 1996 champions thrash Canada on Sunday in Hambantota but officials expect a near empty arena during Pakistan's opening World Cup game against Kenya at the same venue on Wednesday.



"The ICC (International Cricket Council) has said that they will be happy if we can get in 10 percent of the spectators who turn up for the key Sri Lanka matches," Sri Lanka's World Cup director Suraj Dandeniya said.



"The most challenging task for us is to price the tickets in a manner that we can attract as many spectators as possible to the grounds.



"As a result we have decided to reduce the price of a ticket by around 50 percent. For instance a SLR 2500 ($22.54) will be priced at SLR 1000 ($9.02)."



Pakistan will play all six of their Group A matches in Sri Lanka after the ICC stripped them as co-hosts of the tournament for security reasons.



Dandeniya said the lowest priced tickets will be SLR 30 and SLR 20.



"Our aim is to get as many people to watch the World Cup matches. It is with this intention that we have priced the tickets. We are not looking to make any profits out of the World Cup," said Dandeniya.



"We are also holding competitions through radio programs to get spectators to the grounds."



Top priced tickets for Sri Lanka's much-anticipated matches against Australia and Pakistan will cost SLR 5000.



Sri Lanka are hosting 12 of the 49 matches during the Feb 19-April 2 tournament at three 35,000-seater stadiums in Hambantota, Colombo and Kandy.



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