An article on the excellent King Cricket blog this week detailed one Indian’s heroic attempts to buy a ticket, get into the ground and watch the Delhi Test match. Not as easy as you might think. But what are the challenges facing Test cricket fans in other countries around the world?
In Mumbai, entrance to the Wankhede Stadium costs 10,000 rupees if Sachin is due to bat that day and 20,000 rupees if Sachin is currently batting. If Sachin is not playing, stadium is shut.
In England’s picturesque Southampton, fans must beware flash flooding as they queue in the 40-mile-long car entry lane. Match tickets start at £55, although a supplement is payable if the weather permits any actual cricket to be played.
Entry to Karachi stadium costs 3000 Pakistan Rupees, but under 16s, OAPs and bookmakers get in for free.
In South Africa, a complicated weighting system allows organisers to charge extra for each over bowled by Dale Steyn compared to the rest of the rather less exciting attack, although refunds are available if Jacques gets stuck into one of his really dour rearguards with the bat.
In Bangladesh, nobody is quite sure how much they would charge if a Test somehow went to day five.
In Jamaica’s Sabina Park, an on-going dispute between the players and the West Indies board has lead to a two-tier system. The regular team can be watched for a few dollars; but fans who wish to see Chris Gayle can pay an additional entrance fee to a cordoned-off area of the park, where Chris will be smacking balls around in an exclusive display of batting pyrotechnics sponsored by Gatorade.
Fans at the MCG should take care that they are not pulled out of the ticket queue and forced to bowl spin for Australia in the Test.
In New Zealand, entry is half price if accompanied by Jeremy Coney.
NOTE: After being told of Ritesh’s struggles at getting into the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, a Lord’s spokesman commented: “I just can’t understand why they failed to search his bag for hidden cans of beer. Nor can I see any mention in the gentleman’s ‘web-log’ as to what sort of tie he was wearing.”
By Alan Tyers. Further invented possibilities in CrickiLeaks: The Secret Ashes Diaries, by Tyers and Beach, here