Cost of Ashes Test tick­ets will freeze out ‘or­di­nary’ fans

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT -

I HAD heard talk of the high price of tick­ets for the Test at Head­in­g­ley next year be­fore I re­ceived (as a YCCC mem­ber) my glossy brochure for mem­ber­ship and Test ticket prices for 2019. I am stunned. Long ago, I gave up at­tend­ing Test matches, ow­ing to the high ad­mis­sion price. I have been to an oc­ca­sional day or two over the last 25 years but that’s it.

I fan­cied the Ashes Test next sum­mer but have now dis­cov­ered that for my­self and my wife (both YCCC mem­bers) to at­tend all five days (I know it prob­a­bly won’t last five days but that’s not the point) will cost £830 to sit where we nor­mally sit, in the East Stand.

We could save £100 if we want to sit on the Western Ter­race but the gen­eral be­hav­iour there of­ten goes beyond the bounds of what I call ac­cept­able: swear­ing, drunk­e­ness and beer be­ing chucked around not be­ing for me and my wife, thank you.

It is my opin­ion £830 is a to­tally dis­grace­ful sum of money to ex­pect a cou­ple to pay to at­tend a sport­ing event.

In com­mon with, I imag­ine, a large num­ber of “or­di­nary” cricket lovers, we sim­ply can­not af­ford it.

I have not added the cost of any sta­dium pur­chased food, drink and trans­port, park­ing etcetera be­cause th­ese are vari­able EX­PEN­SIVE: ac­cord­ing to the in­di­vid­ual and not com­pul­sory but could very easily take the five-day cost for a cou­ple over the thou­sand-pound mark!

YCCC/ECB, no doubt, will some­how jus­tify th­ese prices and per­haps they’ll even sell out the ground but how many seats will bear wit­ness to the back­sides of “or­di­nary” cricket lovers? AF­TER sign­ing a spin bowler a few weeks ago, we are now be­ing told that York­shire have re­cruited a fast bowler from ‘Down South’.

At the week­end, speak­ing to a neigh­bour who, like me, had been a mem­ber for many years (27 in my case) we won­dered will the day come when, much like foot­ball, we have a team of out­siders.

Al­most 30 years ago (au­tumn 1989) Phil Car­rick led a cam­paign to abol­ish the club’s tra­di­tional pol­icy of which all mem­bers were rightly proud in that we’d al­ways find play­ers from our many clubs to take the field.

Dur­ing my ser­vice in the RAF when I found my­self play­ing cricket two or three days ev­ery week, I of­ten spoke to my var­i­ous team-mates about the pride I felt about our gen­uine, York­shire team. Rugby League Chal­lenge Cup fi­nal.

But surely the main rea­son is that one of the teams, Cata­lan Dragons, came from France and as such only 4,000-5,000 peo­ple ac­tu­ally made the jour­ney to Wem­b­ley.

Watch­ing Steve Smith and Aus­tralia at Head­in­g­ley next sum­mer will be costly.

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