Why were so many seats empty for India v Pakistan Asia Cup clash?
India and Pakistan locked horns in a highly anticipated Super4 clash of the Asia Cup 2023 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday, September 10. This match-up is widely recognized as one of the fiercest rivalries in cricket. Surprisingly, however, the stadium appeared to have numerous empty seats.
One likely cause for this is the uncertain weather conditions, with rain being forecasted, which could potentially affect the game. Notably, the ticket prices for the IND v PAK clash were comparatively much more expensive as compared to other games of the Asia Cup which also contributed to the reason for the stands being empty.
In an effort to attract more spectators, Sri Lanka Cricket announced last-minute reductions in ticket prices to Rs 500 and Rs 1000. Unfortunately, this initiative seems to have had little impact. According to the official ticketing portal of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the hosts of Asia Cup 2023, there were still over 15,000 available seats during the match.
Tickets prices for the C and D stands at the RPICS, Colombo, will be reduced for the ongoing Asia Cup Tournament games as follows:— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 10, 2023
C & D Upper Block: Rs. 1000 per ticket
C & D Lower Block: Rs. 500 per ticket
Ticket prices are way above than the prices for other games . pic.twitter.com/cPvKKNFKx8— Induneshan Sachu (@induneshansachu) September 10, 2023
Pakistan opt to bowl first, India make a strong start
Pakistan's captain, Babar Azam, won the toss and chose to field against India in this crucial Super 4 game of the Asia Cup 2023. The Pakistani team retained their starting lineup. However, the Indian side experienced a forced change with Shreyas Iyer sidelined due to back spasms. KL Rahul stepped in to take his place in the XI. Additionally, Jasprit Bumrah replaced Mohammed Shami, who had missed the previous game against Nepal due to the birth of his child.
Indian openers made a strong start as Rohit's partner, Shubman Gill swiftly reached his half-century in just 37 balls. Meanwhile, the Indian skipper adopted a more measured approach while scoring his runs. However, once Gill achieved his fifty in the 13th over, Rohit escalated the attack, dispatching Pakistan's leg-spinner Shadab Khan for three consecutive boundaries in a single over.
As if two sixes and a four were not sufficient, Shadab served up a tempting full-toss to Rohit on the first delivery of his subsequent over. Rohit promptly retreated into his crease and sent the ball soaring over the deep mid-wicket fence for a colossal six. This shot not only added six runs to the tally but also marked Rohit's own half-century.