The novel coronavirus outbreak and inclement weather here at Dharamshala has affected the ticket sales for the ODI match between India and South Africa. The match will mark the opener game of the three-match ODI series. Talking about ticket sales, just Just 16,000 tickets out of 22,000 have been sold at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium till Tuesday for the series opener.
A top HPCA official told the sources, “We have sold around 16,000 tickets over the counter but we still haven’t got sales figures from Paytm. Normally, the demand for tickets of international matches here is huge but the coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll this time.”
The official further added, “Foreign fans, which amount to around 1,000 are not traveling this time because of various travel advisories. We used to cater to a lot of spectators from adjoining Punjab, Harayana and Delhi which is not notable this time because of the current situation.”
Not a single journalist from South Africa is touring with the national team for the series. The HPCA, on its part, has put in place huge hoardings both inside and outside the ground, educating people on precautionary measures against coronavirus.
Adverse weather conditions have affected ticket sales as there are rain and thundershower forecast for Thursday which is the match day, and Friday due to fresh western disruption over northern Pakistan and adjacent Jammu and Kashmir.
Rains in the past have played havoc here with the last international game between India and South Africa which was a T20I, washed out in September last year without a ball being bowled. In an effort to please the rain deity, locals, fans and organizers have offered prayers at the Indrunag Temple in the hills overlooking the stadium.