In a move that may keep some enthusiastic fans away from the Ranji Trophyfinal between Mumbai and Saurashtra (beginning at the Wankhede Stadium from Saturday) which will feature cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to charge for entry to the ground.
A release from MCA, on Wednesday, informed that tickets for a seat in the North Stand/Vijay Merchant Pavilion would cost Rs 50 a day, while a ticket for the Garware Pavilion will be Rs 150. In a day and age when crowds are getting thinner by the day for Tests and even one-day internationals, thanks to the arrival of T20 cricket and the Indian Premier League, getting crowds for a Ranji match — usually played out in front empty stadiums — is a dream prospect. In this case, fans who would love to watch Tendulkar in action, may get put off for having to pay to do so.
The MCA officials, however, spell out their own reasons for the move. “The ticket prices are nominal. We have done this for logistical reasons, since we are expecting a crowd, thanks to Sachin. In any case, school children and college students will be allowed in for free after showing their ID-cards,” MCA joint secretary PV Shetty told TOI. “We have done this to prevent nuisance which is created by unwanted elements, as we witnessed in the last match played at the Wankhede,” added MCA vice-president Vinod Deshpande.