Is the ODI World Cup Losing its popularity? - Empty Seats at Narendra Modi Stadium for ENG vs NZ, CWC2023

The opening game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 between England and New Zealand saw low footfall by fans.

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Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. (Photo Source: X/Twitter)

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 finally got underway on Thursday, October 05 as New Zealand and England locked horns in the curtain raiser of the event. New Zealand managed to edge past the defending champions, beating them by a massive margin of nine wickets courtesy of sensational hundreds from Devon Conway (152* off 121) and Rachin Ravindra (123* off 96).

Apart from the exhilarating cricketing action witnessed on the field, another major issue was highlighted during the opening game of the World Cup. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, which was the venue for the curtain raiser of the cricketing extravaganza, surprisingly saw low footfall to witness the opening game.

Several images of the empty stands in the stadium went viral all over social media as fans began comparing the crowd numbers with the opening matches of the previous editions of the World Cup. However, as the game progressed, the empty seats began to fill but it was still just a handful of people for the largest cricket stadium in the world having a capacity of 1,32,000 seats.

The empty stands in the World Cup opener once again hinted at the gradual death of the ODI format. Notably, there have been widespread discussions around the lack of interest among people to watch a 50-over game with the T20 fever taking over the entire globe.

Also check: ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 Schedule

Several former and current cricketers have also voiced their opinion on keeping the ODI format only limited for the World Cup. Hence, the ongoing 13th edition of the Cricket World Cup will prove to be the real test of the 52-year-old format which has enthralled the fans over the years.

However, with the attention span of the audience getting lower every day, the T20 format has pipped the traditional ODIs as the crowd now prefers wham-bam cricket over the gradual progress experienced in the 50-over format.

New Rules and innovations to change the fate?

The upcoming matches of the World Cup will play a huge role in keeping the format alive, especially the India vs Pakistan game on October 14 at the same venue. Despite the thrilling end to the World Cup 2019 with a final which can beat the best of the movie scripts, the craze for the ODIs has been on a decline.

Also Read: Who is Rachin Ravindra? - All you need to know about New Zealand's young batting sensation

The ICC (International Cricket Council) has already reduced the number of ODI matches in their next cycle. However, if they’re willing to extend the lifeline of the most balanced format of cricket, new innovations and a slight tweak to the rules could well be a solution.


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