With less than a month to go for the first match of the men’s ODI World Cup, the BCCI, the host board, has announced the release of as many as 400,000 tickets in the next phase of ticket sales.
A BCCI statement on Wednesday evening said that the “general sale of tickets” for all matches of the World Cup will commence from 8pm IST on September 8, adding that “fans will be notified of the further sale of tickets in the next phase in due course”. The release did not mention any details of the next phase though.
ESPNcricinfo has learnt these tickets are part of a further phased approach to meet the huge demand from fans, though there was not any mention previously that such a batch would go on sale. The original phased approach of online sales (except for the knockouts) ended on September 3. It is not clear though why these 400,000 tickets were not part of the initial sale window.
The BCCI arrived at the number of tickets to be sold in coordination with the state associations that will host the World Cup matches. It is understood that those associations were asked by the BCCI to release a certain number of tickets – usually meant for the former’s members – which were then added to public tickets quota.
The BCCI had faced a lot of backlash from fans and other stakeholders for first releasing the schedule only 100 days before the start of the tournament, and then making further changes to it, which further delayed the release of tickets. The statement said the board “acknowledges the high demand for tickets” and planned to release more tickets after “discussions with the hosting state associations” to accommodate “as many passionate cricket fans as possible, ensuring their participation in this historic event”.
“The BCCI deeply acknowledges that fans are the heartbeat of the tournament, and their unwavering passion, engagement, and contributions are pivotal to the success of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023,” the statement said.
According to the original plan of ticket sales revealed by the ICC on the same day that they released the revised schedule, the tickets were to go on sale in seven phases, from August 25, 41 days before the tournament opener.
August 25: Warm-up and World Cup matches not featuring India
August 30: India warm-up matches in Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram
August 31: India World Cup matches in Chennai (vs Australia, Oct 8), Delhi (vs Afghanistan, Oct 11) and Pune (vs Bangladesh, Oct 19)
September 1: India World Cup matches in Dharamsala (vs New Zealand, Oct 22), Lucknow (vs England, Oct 29) and Mumbai (vs Sri Lanka, Nov 2)
September 2: India World Cup matches in Kolkata (vs South Africa, Nov 5) and Bengaluru (vs Netherlands, Nov 12)
September 3: India World Cup matches in Ahmedabad (vs Pakistan, Oct 14)
September 15: Semi-finals and final
In comparison, the 2019 World Cup (in England and Wales) had tickets go up for sale in September 2018 and then again on March 21, 2019, as an ICC response to the high demand for tickets.
The 2023 World Cup will kick-off on October 5 with England vs New Zealand – a repeat of the 2019 final – in Ahmedabad. Nine other cities will host World Cup games in India: Hyderabad, Dharamsala, Delhi, Chennai, Lucknow, Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kolkata. The ten teams will all play each other in the first round before the semi-finals are played in Mumbai (November 15) and Kolkata (November 16), and the final in Ahmedabad on November 19.