When India takes on Australia in the third Women’s T20I on Wednesday, crowd management will be a challenge for the Cricket Club of India.
More than 45,000 fans turned up for the second T20I at the DY Patil Stadium last Sunday. However, the iconic Brabourne Stadium has a seating capacity of just about 20,000. Keeping in mind the fact that it is located in the heart of South Mumbai and given that the match will be held on a working day, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the club don’t want to take any chances with security and crowd management.
While there will be free entry for the fixture on Wednesday — subject to the seating capacity — the BCCI has already partnered with bookmyshow.com. The spectators will now have to register via the website/app and then come and collect their free tickets from the venue ahead of the game. According to BCCI officials, this has been done to keep the process ‘simple and also to avoid any confusion regarding tickets.’
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At the DY Patil Stadium, hundreds of people were waiting outside the stadium’s main gate for long, hoping to get lucky in terms of managing ‘at least one ticket’, despite giant billboards placed outside the gates suggesting that the stadium was full and there were no tickets available. While that led to chaos and traffic snarls, the organisers don’t want to take any chances in the remaining three matches.
“The registration process started on Tuesday afternoon and that will help both the fans and the organisers keep a track of things. The CCI is situated in the heart of the city and we do not want to cause any confusion or traffic congestion. So, enough measures are being taken by the club and the Board,” a source in the BCCI said.
To manage the crowd, organisers are also planning to charge a nominal fee of ₹100 for men and boys for the games on December 17 and 20th, while for women fans, entry will be free. A final decision, however, is yet to be taken.
This being India’s first home series in 21 months — the last time it played at home was against South Africa in March 2021 — the BCCI had made sure that it tested the waters ahead of the Women’s IPL, which is scheduled to begin in the first week of March, by offering free tickets to fans. And the initiative seemed to have worked so far.