The India vs. Pakistan World Cup match on October 14 in Ahmedabad felt more like a “bilateral series,” according to Mickey Arthur, the director of the Pakistan squad. The ICC will examine this issue, but it is still optimistic that the tournament will be recognized as a “outstanding” one when it is over.
Following his team’s seven-wicket defeat, Arthur acknowledged that the passionate atmosphere in the crowded Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, where there was hardly any Pakistani presence, had an impact on the team. The lack of Pakistani supporters at the stadium was noticeable because none of them had been granted visas to enter the other country. A small number of supporters of Pakistani descent who are foreign residents or citizens arrived in time to cover the match, as did a small number of Pakistani journalists.
After the game, Arthur remarked, “Look, I’d be lying if I said it did [not affect us].” To put it bluntly, it didn’t seem like an ICC event. It appeared to be a BCCI tournament and a bilateral series.”
When questioned about Arthur’s remarks, ICC chairman Greg Barclay appeared to minimize them as typical criticism in these kinds of competitions. Barclay was reported by AFP as stating, “Every event that we have, there’s always criticisms from various quarters,” while in Mumbai for the International Olympic Committee Session that decided to include T20 cricket in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
“Things that we might try to work on, try to improve upon… so this is just the beginning of the event. After observing how everything transpires, we’ll leave and discuss what may be improved, what we can do better, and how to enhance cricket in general as well as World Cups.
“We’ll just see things as they unfold and finish the event. I’m confident that the World Cup will still be fantastic.”
Even though a record number of people watched the India vs. Pakistan match both locally and worldwide, the organizers have not yet released the official attendance figures.
With more than 110,000 seats, the Ahmedabad stadium is the biggest cricket ground in terms of capacity.
The BCCI and the ICC, who are hosting the competition, have received a query from ESPNcricinfo. Regarding the question of how many seats were officially placed up for sale for the main event, neither the ICC nor the BCCI have responded. The BCCI had stated that September 3 was set out exclusively for ticket sales for the India vs. Pakistan match when the tournament’s ticket sales schedule was announced in late August. The BCCI declared on October 8 that an additional 14,000 tickets would be made available for the game. Three days later, the BCCI announced on X (formerly Twitter) that it was selling another batch of tickets (numbers not disclosed) that were intended for its official partners.
The online ticketing system has been the subject of multiple complaints from fans, and the early portion of the tournament has seen minimal attendance, with the exception of games played in Delhi and India.