Bangalore, March 16 (IANS) The last league match of the 2011 World Cup here began Wednesday between minnows Canada and defending champions Australia at the Chinnaswamy stadium, with a few hundred fans in the forlorn stands.
In contrast to the packed stands when India played against England and Ireland and the respectable turnout during the England-Ireland and Kenya-Australia matches, only a few hundred fans have braved a hot day to watch the clash of the unequals.
Being a working day and an inconsequential match between two distant teams, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) has been left with thousands of unsold tickets, with few takers even for Rs.100 tickets.
“We were aware that the response would be lukewarm on a day like this. We hope to see a better turnout in the second half when the Aussies bat under floodlights after a hot sun goes down,” a KSCA official told IANS.
In view of the heightened security for the World Cup series, there are more men in khaki uniform (about 2,000) than diehard fans in fancy dress.
Australia, which remained unbeaten in its last 33 World Cup matches since 1999, played against Canada just once in the 1979 World Cup at Edgabaston in Britain and won by seven wickets.