JIS News

Organizers of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 are reporting that the tickets in the most demand since the launch of the ticketing programme on May 1, are those for the finals in Barbados and the semi-finals in Jamaica and St. Lucia.
A further breakdown of the number of applications for ticket packages so far, reveal that matches involving the English and Indian teams are extremely popular. According to the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007 Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chris Dehring, persons have found packages involving the English team “very attractive”, so much so that there has been a “tremendous amount of applications” for matches at the venue in St. Lucia and Barbados.
He also said that the opening ceremony at the stadium in Trelawny was also attracting “quite a bit of attention”, as well as the opening match, involving the West Indies and Pakistan at Sabina Park.
“The first match of any major world tournament is always special and therefore will attract a lot of attention,” he told JIS News.
Responding to concerns that a struggling West Indies team would affect the ticket purchases in Jamaica, Mr. Dehring was upbeat, noting that fans would want to support the team, despite its recent poor outings.
“There is one great thing about West Indian supporters . we never say that it is over. The West Indies team is struggling, but I think that West Indian fans have shown consistently over the past years that, even while the team is struggling, they continue to support the team and attend matches,” he pointed out.
“We certainly expect that there will be a tremendous amount of demand for matches in Jamaica involving the West Indies team,” he continued.
Commenting on overall ticket sales, Mr. Dehring said that there continued to be a strong demand as sales were being made around the clock since the launch.
Applications, he said, were coming from countries steeped in cricket traditions, such as the United Kingdom, Australia and India. However, there have been some from very unexpected countries.
“I guess there are pockets of cricket fans in places such as the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and one that was not a surprise to us, but certainly would be a surprise to the cricketing world, the USA,” he said.
Ticket applications have been received from some 88 countries worldwide, with at least one application for each of the 51 matches in the ICC CWC 2007.
In explaining the great interest in tickets for the event, Mr. Dehring attributed it to the CWC as an event, as it has certainly grown in prestige over the years.
He noted that there was a significant fan base for cricket around the world and “it is probably the second largest sport in terms of pure fan base, simply because of the popularity of the sport in the Asian sub continent”.
Then there is the appeal of the Caribbean as a destination. “The Caribbean has a very special and unique appeal and I think when you combine the two.cricket as a fantastic sport and the lure of the Caribbean, you can see why there is a special attraction for many people,” he said.
Meanwhile, most fans have been applying online for tickets, even though ticket centres have opened. Mr. Dehring said that this was expected, as CWC 2007 was a global event. “This is how most modern events sell tickets,” he explained.
The Managing Director said that ticket centres would be bracing for a rush closer to the end of the application period in July. Waiting for the last minute to purchase tickets was “the traditional Caribbean way of doing things”, he added.
He assured fans that the website at www.cricketworldcup.com could withstand the constant heavy traffic. “We are very pleased about the type of robust operations on the site. We are hopeful that when the rush becomes bigger, it will hold up,” he said.
More than 800,000 tickets are on sale for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.

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