A disappointing turnout from Pakistan supporters at Edgbaston for the ongoing second Test against England has been put down to a variety of factors, chief of them being the dismal batting performances being put up by the Pakistan team during the ongoing series.
According to The Daily Express, given the bad performance of Salman Butt"s side in the first Test at Trent Bridge, the number of Pakistani flags draped on shoulders at Edgbaston was perhaps understandable.
But organizers from Warwickshire yesterday said that 72 all out from the tourists will do little to bring the crowds for the rest of the match.
The organizers defended ticket prices of 60 pounds for adults and 20 pounds for under-16s and said that prices were not to blame for a below-par audience.
“We are obviously disappointed with the support [for Pakistan] but there was absolutely nothing more we could have done in terms of marketing this match," said a county spokeswoman.
“It was done as aggressively as for the T20 matches and we sold 20,000 for those two," she added
Edgbaston staged two T20s between Australia and Pakistan last month and sold 10,000 tickets each time – 90 per cent of them going to Pakistani fans.
But Test matches are proving more difficult to sell. A marketing effort aimed at the large Pakistani communities in cities like Bradford and Huddersfield made little difference to attendances, the paper reports.
The organizers even laid on halal food, prayer rooms and Urdu-speaking stewards, but only 4,329 Pakistani fans came on the first day.
“The appetite for Test match cricket is simply not there but we don"t think that ticket prices are responsible. You even see it when England tour Pakistan. T20 cricket and ODI cricket is different though," said a spokesman for the ECB.