CA has recently slashed the prices for International Cricket concentrating on Tests and ODI © Getty Images
CA has recently slashed the prices for International Cricket concentrating on Tests and ODI © Getty Images

Large numbers of people are getting attracted to T20 cricket that is causing damage to the viewership of international cricket especially ODI and Test cricket. This has compelled Cricket Australia (CA) to concentrate on slashing ticket prices for international games in coming summer to absorb people to view cricket further. A review of ticket pricing and availability was undertaken by CA’s commercial department after constant depletion in crowd for limited-over cricket and Test cricket. The decision was taken into consideration after the burgeoning attendances found for Big Bash League (BBL). BBL was meant to reach out to new cricket fans that would ultimately show love for Test and ODIs. READ: Chris Gayle can play in BBL 2016-17: James Sutherland

On Tuesday, CA announced the pricing structure for all international matches with entry level prices ranging from $30 for adults, $10 for kids or $65 for family or reserved seat, as mentioned on ESPNcricinfo. On the hindsight, BBL tickets were costing $20 for adults keeping in mind the emergence of T20 cricket. The cost of BBL tickets has helped to rethink on strategy for slashing prices for Test and ODI as well, says CA chief executive James Sutherland. While announcing the price changes, Sutherland added, “Clearly the reason why we’re breaking records in terms of aggregate attendance is off the back of BBL growth in attendance. More people attended the BBL last year than attended the World Cup. Over a million people came through the gates to attend BBL cricket.”

Sutherland further added, “International cricket is still really strongly supported. And part of our strategy has been for us to bring new people to the game, through BBL cricket and at the same time graduate their interest into international cricket. And part of our pricing review and our research has been with that in mind, to continue to graduate that interest … into the premium form, being international cricket. I think we’ve learned a lot from the BBL and I think we’ve taken some of the best parts of that and incorporated that into the review. But it’s also a lot about positioning and ensuring that international cricket is the premium format and we continue to bring the best possible teams into the country to play the game, play international cricket over those three formats.” READ: James Sutherland anticipates more nations to host day-night Tests

Sutherland also spoke about the challengers faced during Test cricket and mentioned, “Certainly our focus is to get as many people into our grounds as possible – we make no bones about the fact that our desired state is full grounds. We face challenges from time to time, certainly with Test cricket to get people into grounds when people have work commitments and kids are still at school but there’s lots of different ways in which we are trying to change that. Obviously day-night Test cricket is one of the things but also this pricing strategy is taking a lot of those things into account as well. The backdrop for television is always something that looks better. From our perspective the whole thing is greater fan engagement.”

With the response coming from Indian Premier League (IPL) and T20 cricket around the globe, Sutherland feels Australian events are youthful and can attract greater crowd engagement, “We don’t see ourselves as a competitor with IPL. We’ve been very, very focused with BBL as something which is tailored to the Australian market. Coming off the trajectory we’ve had, it’s going to be always challenging to maintain that growth. To some extent it will be cyclical.” Sutherland further said, “But at the same time we lift our sights high in terms of our aspirations with BBL and see no reason why we can’t continue. We’ll continue to develop our event presentation to ensure those who pay good money to come and watch the cricket are entertained, not just when the cricket is being played but in other aspects of what’s offered at venues.”