Just when we thought it was all over……
On 9th October we raised the white flag after what seemed a disappointing end to our concerted campaign to force Sri Lanka Cricket to make reasonably priced seated tickets available to travelling independent England Cricket supporters. What had we achieved? Well we forced them to make Day 5 free after they were insisting on a minimum of £50 per day and we also made sure that we had it writing that they would not deny access to cheap grass bank tickets to all but locals - as they did in 2012.
We had lobbied hard with help from an online petition signed by over 3.5K supporters, the British High Commission in Colombo, the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, British MP Ranil Jayawardena and Paul Newman of the Daily Mail amongst others. We also sent our Dossier of Discontent to anyone that we thought would read it. Rumours are the ECB even raised the matter with their opposite number.
Way back in April our main plea to Sri Lanka cricket was to make tickets available via their online booking agent, bookmyshow.com (Sri Lanka). They replied that they certainly could not and would not do this because of their exclusive deal with ‘Hospitality Partner’ Island Leisure Lanka. They further stated that cheap 300LKR grass bank tickets would NOT be available online in advance BUT if we were willing to pay USD $15 (£11.50) we could buy them from Island Leisure.
So imagine our surprise when below the radar and without an accompanying announcement via their social media channels, Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday (29.10.18) quietly put both grass bank tickets (300LKR) and seated tickets (5000LKR) on sale via bookmyshow.com.
At present only the Galle Test is on sale but the presence of ‘coming soon’ pages for Kandy and Colombo indicates this will apply to the whole series.
We leave you to draw your own conclusions as to whether SLC have caved in to the pressure or whether it was a commercial decision based on poor sales of Island Leisure’s overpriced ‘hospitality’ tickets but what ever their reasoning is we are very grateful to them for finally seeing sense.
We remain concerned about the inevitable long queues that will form outside the Galle International Stadium because whether supporters intend to pay cash or have bought tickets online they will still have to queue outside to pick up tickets but we applaud this sensible albeit long overdue decision by SLC.
Despite this issue hanging like a black cloud over the series (from a supporter point of view) we hope that all parties can put it behind them. We will now concentrate on doing what we do best, getting behind our beloved team and urging them to a series win.