International cricket returned to Pakistan’s shores after a long time on Monday, December 13 when Pakistan and West Indies squared off at the National Stadium in Karachi. However, contrary to expectations, there was a low turnout of spectators.
It was expected that Karachiites would turn up in large numbers to watch 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 sales were also not satisfactory. However, it is expected that the crowd will come in large numbers as the series progresses.
But it was strange to see that the fans who came to the venue for the first T20 match were not treated well. They were seen waiting in queues for a long time at the gates. Even at 5:45 pm, 15 minutes before the start of the game, the gates had not been opened.
“The organizers should correct their affairs. We have been waiting for a long time for the gates to open,” Saad Khan, a student,In front of Gate No 13. When this correspondent asked a police constable why the gates were not being opened, he said they were also waiting for the gates to be opened.
Fans, however, were still eager to watch the match. “It’s fantastic to have the West Indies team in Pakistan after New Zealand canceled their series before the World Cup,” Hassan, a Karachi University student, said. “We will back both the teams,” he said.
“Although West Indies faced some hiccups losing their skipper Pollard due to fitness issues and losing three more players due to COVID-19, the visitors are still tough to beat and I hope it will be a good series,” Hassan said.
On the brighter side of things, fans did not face any problems in reaching the gates as authorities were operating a shuttle service. “There was no issue on that front. We got a shuttle bus,” Naeem, a club cricketer, said.
However, some fans demanded that ticket prices should be reduced so that everyone can afford to purchase it. Overall, it was a quiet day. The security arrangements were up to the mark.