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MCC defend ‘premium’ costs amid sluggish ticket product product product product product product product product product product product gross sales for Lord’s Test

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Ben Stokes, England’s new Test captain, has warned that the game might must take a excessive have a look on the price of tickets, as this week’s Lord’s Test prepares to get underway with a big selection of seats nonetheless accessible all by the market contained obtainable contained obtainable accessible accessible on the market inside {the marketplace} for the primary 4 days of the match.

With 24 hours to go till the beginning of the primary Test of the summer time season season season season season season season season season season season season season season season in opposition to the reigning World Test Champions, some 16,000 tickets are nonetheless unsold, together with 9,000 for Sunday’s fourth day’s play. Of these, the bulk are priced in extra of £100, predominant Stokes – in his first pre-match press convention as full-time captain – to lend his weight to the spectators’ set off.

“The ticket prices is something that I think is going to have to be looked at properly,” Stokes talked about. “What is cricket without its fans? What is sport without its fans?

“We need to be attracting of us to return and watch us on account of cricket that we play and among the many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many most fascinating strategies worthwhile we’re. But I suppose it is doable you would possibly must intention how tons it’d price anybody to get into the underside.

“One thing that we have always received as an England cricket team is amazing support. Obviously the Barmy Army are well renowned but even those who don’t associate themselves with any supporters group are just fantastic. I don’t set the prices, but I think it does need to be looked at.”

There are extenuating circumstances for this categorical fixture, which takes place all by way of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, which suggests each Thursday and Friday are nationwide holidays. The UK might very precisely be experiencing a cost-of-living disaster, with inflation prices at their highest in 40 years, leaving family budgets stretched.

However, even when most schools are on their half-term break, that signifies that this Test might presumably be a hazard for youngsters to attend all by way of the weekdays, the one concessions accessible all by the market contained obtainable contained obtainable accessible accessible on the market contained contained throughout the market obtainable accessible throughout the market are all by way of the least costly price brackets, that signifies that some Under-16 tickets are on sale for as tons as £160 on the primary three days of the Test.

On Wednesday, MCC defended setting such “premium” ticket costs for the primary of their two Tests this summer time season season season season season season season season season season season season season season season – with South Africa furthermore as a consequence of play at Lord’s in August.

“MCC has undertaken significant reorganisation of its ticket pricing for international matches in recent years, recognising the exceptional demand for tickets that Test matches at Lord’s are expected to generate,” the membership steered ESPNcricinfo in an announcement.

“With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee double bank holiday weekend also taking place, we have seen a reduction in our usual expected attendance numbers. However, sales remain strong for the opening two days of the match and across our other international fixtures this year, with our India ODI being sold out.

“Whilst we recognise that the exact price tickets accessible all by the market contained obtainable contained obtainable accessible accessible on the market contained contained throughout the market obtainable accessible throughout the market are at a premium price, we ponder that all by way of your full underside, this represents good price to intention top-class worldwide cricket at thought-about one among many world’s most iconic sporting venues, with many pricing elements accessible all by the market contained obtainable contained obtainable accessible accessible on the market contained contained throughout the market obtainable accessible throughout the market.”

Stuart Broad, who has been confirmed in England’s playing XI, agreed with Stokes’ stated aim to play the sort of cricket that persuades fans to come back through the turnstiles.

“From the underside, everytime you see Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ mindset come collectively, it is fairly thrilling,” he said. “To attraction to the followers, we now must assemble on that vogue of cricket and have a implies that folk must attempt.

“Trent Bridge [the venue for the second Test] has sold out for the first three days, so there is still that support for the team. From the players’ point of view, we have to make that commitment that we want to be exciting and draw people through the gates.

“I suppose it is comparative with Twickenham, Wembley – there is a market price,” Broad added. “There’s a whole bunch occurring this weekend [so it’s] a wierd one to guage: the Queen’s Jubilee, a financial institution journey – there’s assorted opponents for leisure in London. I’m optimistic the costs must fluctuate to the price of residing and if stadiums get emptier, of us must fluctuate.”

McCullum said at his unveiling as England’s new Test coach last week that Test cricket would be “in draw as shortly as extra” if his side were not among the top sides in the world “on account of help that the mother and father of England and the UK have” for the format. “No one else actually has the an an an an an associated affection and has the pliability to make the sport sustainable,” he added.

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, told the Telegraph that the ECB should consider reviewing the allocation of two Tests per summer to Lord’s. “You cannot defend saying, ‘we’re Lord’s, we wish two Test matches a 12 months’ after which price over £150 all by way of the vacations, all by way of the jubilee and by means of a cost-of-living disaster,” he talked about.

“It’s scandalous that Lord’s thinks it’d actually get away with a ticket price for someday of Test cricket that’s the an an an an an associated as what chances are high excessive extreme excessive extreme excessive it’s doable chances are high excessive extreme excessive it’s doable you presumably can price for a season ticket for the Hundred. We have all these directors telling us Test cricket is the exact after which they do this.”

Andrew Miller is ESPNcricinfo’s UK editor. Matt Roller is an assistant editor.

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