The absence of VVS Laxman, who announced his retirement ahead of the Test series against New Zealand, seems to have costed the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) dearly with a poor turnout expected for the Five-day match, beginning here tomorrow.
According to the HCA sources, only 2,500 tickets have been sold for the match in a 39,000 capacity Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
"We would be happy to see a crowd of 7,000 to 10,000. Ticket sales have been poor and the retirement of Laxman has compounded the woes," HCA executive committee member, Gerard Carr told PTI.
"The Test match viewership is going down. But we expected the crowd to fill up to see a last glimpse of Laxman in India colours. But it won't happen," he added.
Giving details of the collections from ticket sales, Carr said: "Tickets worth around Rs 10 lakh have been sold for the entire five-day duration. This, however, does not include the online booking. We hope the crowd to fill up during the weekend." Hyderabad last hosted a Test in November 2010 against the same opposition -- New Zealand -- when both the teams dished out a drab draw.
Brendon McCullum had slammed a double century in New Zealand's second innings, while Harbhajan Singh also scored an unbeaten century, even as the flat wicket had come for a severe criticism.