The highly anticipated World Cup 2023 began today, with England taking on New Zealand in the opening match at the biggest cricket stadium in the world — Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. It being the first match on cricket’s biggest stage, fans expected a good footfall.
However, they were surprised by the low turnout at the stadium where multiple stands were empty. Cricket fans took to social media, especially X (formerly Twitter), with pictures and videos of empty seats.
Former cricketer Virender Sehwag suggested giving free tickets to school and college students to deal with the low attendance:
Hopefully after office hours, there should be more people coming in. But for games not featuring Bharat, there should be free tickets for school and college children. With the fading interest in 50 over game, it will definitely help that youngsters get to experience a World Cup…
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 5, 2023
A cricket fan, surprised by the lack of crowd in the stadium, wrote:
The opening game of CWC23 between England vs New Zealand is currently playing under behind closed doors ?
— Jayprakash MSDian™ 🥳🦁 (@ms_dhoni_077) October 5, 2023
”No opening ceremony either,” one of the fans said:
Sad to see empty stands in the World’s biggest cricket stadium..and these are not minnows playing….2019 World Cup finalists England vs New Zealand opening the 2023 edition. There was no opening ceremony either #CWC2023 #ENGvNZ pic.twitter.com/o8NKaioUrW
— Prem Mohanty 🏏⚽️ (@philipbkk) October 5, 2023
As expected, memes have started pouring in:
— Shaharyar Ejaz 🏏 (@SharyOfficial) October 5, 2023
— Balaram 🇮🇳 (@Iam_BaLaRaM) October 5, 2023
Two big teams are playing, but no crowd, another cricket fan wrote on X:
Why is the stadium empty for the first World Cup match? Two big teams are playing,finalists of last edition.What’s happening?#ENGvNZ #ENGvsNZ #NZvENG #NZvsENG #CWC #CWC23 #CWC2023 #icccricketworldcup2023 #ICCWorldCup2023 #WorldCup2023 #WorldTeachersDay pic.twitter.com/lPhb4O40eQ
— Fourth Umpire (@UmpireFourth) October 5, 2023