One-day cricket crowds at all-time low

November 8, 2010

(Source: AAP)  Australia’s one-day crowd crisis worsened on Sunday when a record low turn-out trickled into the Gabba to see the hosts deliver a dead-rubber thumping of Sri Lanka.

It was the worst Gabba crowd for a one-day international featuring Australia, almost 3000 less than the 11,734 who were packed into a ground under construction during the 1992 World Cup.

Traditionally Australia’s Gabba 50-over fixtures have drawn 35,000-plus since the redevelopment of the 40,000-capacity stadium in the 1990s.

Sunday’s attendance, again featuring a healthy Sri Lankan contingent, was a mere half of the previous post-development lowest, which was 19,758 when Ponting’s men defeated Pakistan earlier this year.

And that total came with 20,088 attending another Australian Gabba win over the West Indies just weeks later.

Following crowds of 19,309 at the MCG and 11,495 at the SCG in Sri Lanka’s series-clinching wins, the Brisbane turnout underlined the fans general apathy for what has been an almost meaningless three-match series.

Interest in Australia’s quest to regain the Ashes, which begins at the Gabba on November 25, has completely swamped that for Sri Lanka’s whistle-stop tour.

In fact, the combined total of 39,841 for the three day-nighters will probably only just shade that of the day one attendance for the first Ashes Test, to be played in front of a packed house.

As well as the absences of Ponting and Murali, who was denied an Australian farewell, Sri Lanka gave potential spectators little encouragement to make a late arrival by slumping to 3-14 in the fifth over before being routed for 115.