Champions Trophy: ICC urges fans to return tickets for Cardiff semi-final

Cardiff was not sold out for the ICC Champions Trophy thriller between Sri Lanka and Pakistan
Cardiff was not sold out for the ICC Champions Trophy thriller between Sri Lanka and Pakistan

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is urging fans who bought tickets for Wednesday's Champions Trophy semi-final at Cardiff but are not planning to attend to 'repost' them for resale.

Over 30% of people who bought tickets for England's match against Pakistan listed themselves as India fans.

This has prompted predictions of empty seats despite the match being a sell-out.

The ICC says 3,000 tickets have already been 'reposted' in this way.

"I would urge any Indian fans, while it would be great to see them in Cardiff, if they are not planning to turn up to that game to go to the ICC website and resell their tickets at face value to genuine England and Pakistan fans," Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris said.

England captain Eoin Morgan says the players like Cardiff.

"Cardiff has always been a very good venue for us and the last game we had great support and a full house and everybody seems to get right behind us," he said.

"I think tomorrow is sold out. That is what I have been told."

Morris has defended Cardiff as a venue for the ICC Champions Trophy after criticism.

The ground holds just over 14,000 fans but only 10,800 tickets were sold for Monday's game that saw Pakistan beat Sri Lanka to book a semi-final spot.

Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan said on BBC Radio 5 live: "Why is it really only in Cardiff that we've had big open spaces [of empty seating]?"

But Morris said they have sold out two of the four games Cardiff is hosting.

That includes England's 87-run thrashing of New Zealand in their second pool game, plus Wednesday's semi-final.

"Over the last four years we have sold 98% of our tickets for international matches and we're proud of that fact," said Morris, also speaking on 5 live.

Vaughan added: "When I look at the visual of empty seats around a ground I think it's terrible for the game. Bangladesh v New Zealand there is only a crowd of 4,000, 5,000 at the end because there is a run chase.

"When you look at a venue that only has 14,000 seats to fill, it's a worry for cricket that you can't fill that to watch a major tournament. I want to know why.

"I believe there were only 300 tickets left [for the England and New Zealand match] and 4,000 people didn't turn up. That worries me. Why would you pay £30 or £40 a ticket and not turn up?

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan played 82 Tests for England and captained them to the 2005 Ashes

"If the event is being viewed globally it needs full stadiums.

"What I can't get my head around is Cardiff seems to be the only venue where people are not turning up when they have bought tickets.

"You look at the crowds at Edgbaston and the Oval. There have been record crowds at Edgbaston.

"What I will say about Cardiff is it's the best wicket because it provides the best contest between bat and ball.

"The pitch has been spectacular because it has created two of the best games."

Morris pointed to the fact that Cardiff has established itself as a popular venue for international cricket.

"The first game that we hosted in the tournament was England and New Zealand. Our capacity was just over 14,000 and there were 13,900 tickets sold and a couple of hundred available at the end after being sent back at a late stage," he added.

"We had ostensibly sold that game out. In reality there were about 10,000 people in the ground and we need to find out why those people didn't turn up.

"The weather wasn't great. Whether that has had an impact I don't know."

There have been 8,000 thousand tickets for group games in Cardiff which were purchased but unused across the three games.