Fans have hit out at Cricket Australia over the the ticket pricing for Australia's second ODI match against the West Indies at the SCG on Sunday. The Aussies clinched the three-match series with a game to spare after Sean Abbott starred with bat and ball to guide the home side to an 83-run win in front of another disappointing crowd.
Officials put the final figure at the SCG at 20,025, which was up from the paltry 16,342 that attended the first game at the MCG. While the Sydney numbers were better, the iconic SCG was still less than half full, with empty seats all around and a number of factors no doubt at play. Unfortunately for the Windies, they are no longer the cricketing drawcards of yesteryear but many fans were left seething by what they described as exorbitant ticket prices for the match.
Ticketek advertised the tickets ranging from $10 in the E Reserve section, up to $65 in the best seats, which doesn't sound bad until you realise that's just for juniors (4-15-year-olds). Adult tickets were considerably higher, with the cheapest options coming in at $30 and going all the way up to $130 for an A Reserve ticket.
Other adult options included D Reserve ($65), C Reserve ($75) and B Reserve ($100), with a family ticket (2 adults and 2 kids) ranging from $65 (E reserve) to $293 (A Reserve). With temperatures in Sydney well above 30 degrees for most of Sunday, a lot of the cheaper ticket options would have put spectators at the mercy of the searing sun all afternoon.
Yet the cost to secure a ticket under cover and out of the brunt of the searing sun was inaccessible to many, with questions asked of Cricket Australia as to why their ticket pricing was so high. Several fans and sports journalists took to social media to share their disdain with the situation, with many describing the prices as "ridiculous" and "insane" for a series that has failed to capture the public's imagination.
Backlash over ticket prices for ODI at SCG
Cricket podcaster and broadcaster Paul Dennett slammed the ticket prices on a video he shared on social media. Dennett captioned a video message with the words: “Ridiculous ticket prices for today’s game. No surprise, but Cricket Australia really should have a look at SCG ODI prices." He also pointed out that the situation was exacerbated by the fact it wasn't even a full strength Australia playing, with several Test stars rested from the first two games.
— Paul Dennett (@PaulDennett_) February 4, 2024
Dennett said: "The SCG crowd today will be poor as well. Now if they made the tickets cheaper, it probably wouldn’t make the crowd too much bigger, but at least it would show good faith for the people that you’re not feeling like you’re being fleeced. The people who do turn up to this one-dayer deserve to be treated like royalty, not taken for this amount of money.
Sports reporter Lachlan McKirdy also took aim at the ticket prices in a post he shared on social media, while also pointing out that Cricket Australia had no merchandise or event activations outside the SCG for the game. Plenty of angry cricket fans reacted to the posts on social media to share their own disgust with the expensive ticket prices.
Will be fascinated to see the crowd today for the second ODI between Australia and the West Indies at the SCG.
It’s pretty quiet about 40 mins out, there’s no activations or merch outside the ground plus some quite high ticket prices. #AUSvWI pic.twitter.com/M14ijPJD20
— Lachlan McKirdy (@LMcKirdy7) February 4, 2024
Those ticket prices are insane, but why’s it even in Sydney?! Play it in Hobart or Canberra. Cricket Australia policies are terrible.
— Sandy Lanceley (@sandylanceley) February 4, 2024
Not encouraging families to go along, by the time you add food, drinks, parking/tolls/fuel - transport. Plus it's a school day the next day.
Who decided to run a day/night game on a Sunday, the weekend before the first full week of school for all students?
— trevor halligan (@trevor_hal2110) February 4, 2024
$100-200 to take a family out that’s before food, car parking, drinks etc is insane…..
— Michael Emmerson (@mickeyemmerson) February 4, 2024
THIS is the exact reason why cricket crowds aren’t huge every day and the reason why people wonder why attendances are low on day 3,4 during a Test. It’s a total rip off.
— Dylan Leach (@NedsDylan3Votes) February 4, 2024
Sean Abbott stars in Aussie victory
The Aussies wrapped up the three-match ODI series with a game to spare thanks in large part to the heroics of Abbott, who dug the home side out of a hole when they slumped to 4-89 by the 16th over. Abbott cracked 69 runs off 63 balls - hitting four of his side's eight sixes - to save the Aussies from the brink and propel them to 9-258. Abbott (3-40) was again instrumental with the ball as Australia skittled the West Indies for 175 in the 44th to seal a comfortable win in what the Aussie all-rounder described as his best in national colours.
"It's a game I'll remember for a long time," Abbott said after the match. "I leaked a few runs and bowled a noey (no ball) there, which wasn't ideal. But it was a nice night, a couple of catches too. I'm pretty chuffed."
West Indies fell to 3-34 after a full-length ball from Abbott drew an edge behind from Kjorn Ottley (8). Keacy Carty (40), West Indies' danger man at the MCG, fell in similar fashion as Abbott's second scalp.
Abbott also took two brilliant catches on the run to help dispatch opener Alick Athanaze (11) and then Romario Shepherd (6), the latter exposing West Indies' tail and putting Australia firmly on track for victory. Veteran quick Josh Hazlewood (3-43) was also impressive in his first ODI since last year's World Cup triumph. His big wicket came when he bowled Shai Hope (29) to end a 53-run stand with Carty.
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