LONDON: The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is unlikely to accede to the demand for free admissions on Day 5 of the opening England-South Africa Test at Lord's beginning August 17, despite being criticised by the likes Michael Vaughan and the public ahead of the opening summer fixture between England and New Zealand in June.
While MCC refused to offer freebies, Trent Bridge, Headingley and Edgbaston allowed free admissions during the second and third Tests against New Zealand and the rescheduled fifth Test against India, resulting in big crowds thronging the venues.
In fact, ahead of the fifth day's proceedings against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in June, the stadium refunded the existing ticket-holders, allowing them to watch the final-day action for free.
A report in the Daily Mail said on Tuesday that, "The MCC have yet to make a final decision but view this Test (vs South Africa) as a different proposition from England's matches earlier in the summer which all finished on Monday or Tuesday, whereas the opening Test against South Africa is due to finish on Sunday in London, creating a far greater demand for tickets."
Thunderstorms are forecast on the first day of the England-South Africa Test, which could result in a washed out of the opening day. This could further increase demand for day-five tickets, the report added.
"Day five tickets are not currently on sale but the MCC are expected to make them available at reduced prices once the Test has started and they have a better idea of how long the contest will last," the report said.
Thousands of tickets for the opening Test against New Zealand at Lord's in June had gone unsold, prompting former England captain Michael Vaughan to call it an embarrassment for the game.
Vaughan had then tweeted, "Lords not being full this week is embarrassing for the game... Try & blame the Jubilee if they want but I guarantee if tickets weren't 100-160 pounds it would be jam packed!!! Why are they so expensive??? #Lords #ENGvNZ."