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“Where is everyone?” – Reactions to low crowd for ENG vs NZ WC opener



Last Updated on 8 months by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: “Where is everyone?” – Reactions to low crowd for ENG vs NZ WC opener | Why was there a low crowd for the ENG vs NZ Match?

Calls that India should have played the 2023 World Cup opener are sure to grow louder after the showpiece tournament kicked off in a near-empty Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

2019 finalists England and New Zealand were greeted with tens of thousands of empty seats. While there has been criticism with regards to how the tournament has been organised, fans have provided some reasons as to why the crowd was on the lower side in the first innings. Vijay, who is from Ahmedabad, said the heat, plus the fact it’s a working day, are two key factors along with it being a neutral game.

The city had temperatures exceed 35 degrees and much of the Narendra Modi Stadium is not covered in shade. However, Ravi Shastri and Mike Atherton agreed that hosts India should have been playing.

“I led England in the tournament opener against New Zealand in 1996,” said Atherton during the England innings. “But, in the last few years, the host has started. Do you not think it’s sensible that the hosts should start because you’re guaranteed a full house; an immediate lift for the tournament?

“Absolutely, especially on a ground like this which has 110,000 people,” replied Shastri. “At all costs, have a home team playing. If this was India-England, there’d be at least 70 to 80 thousand people even on a working day. It kicks off the tournament, there’s buzz.”

Reactions – fans point fingers at administrators for low crowd in the WC opener between England & New Zealand

Attention moved to how poorly the tournament was planned. Tickets went on sale just weeks ago, which made it difficult for fans across the world to organise plans.

“Maybe it wouldn’t have been this embarassing if you hadn’t started ticket sales at the last minute repulsing fans who wanted to travel from NZ/ENG, hoarding tickets and then giving them away for free as a way to save face at the last minute,” one fan said.

“The worst worst build-up to Cricket WC which is played after a gap of 4 years. It still feels like a warm up game. BCCI are the worst administrators,” another fan said.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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