The ongoing Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India welcomed its millionth fan to a game late last week, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC), which has said the tournament is on track to become one of the best-attended in ICC event history.
The one-millionth fan went through the turnstiles – the ICC has claimed, amid controversy around the genuine number of fans attending some matches – during the group stage fixture between Afghanistan and South Africa on Friday (November 10).
The milestone was reportedly achieved with – at that point – six matches still to go, as the 10-team tournament now prepares for the two semi-finals, on November 15 and 16.
The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will then come to a conclusion with the tournament final on November 19 in Ahmedabad, at the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium. In total, the three remaining venues have an aggregate capacity of just over 233,000.
There could easily, therefore, be another 200,000 fans to add to the overall tournament attendance following the final three fixtures, especially with hosts India one of the four sides involved in the semis (after winning all nine group stage fixtures), alongside New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia.
Chris Tetley, head of events at the ICC, has said: “With over one million attendees and record-breaking viewership, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup has reminded fans around the world of the support and interest in the One-Day International format that highlights how much World Cup cricket is valued.
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“As we look ahead to the knockout stages, we look forward to this event breaking more records and showcasing the best about cricket in one day.”
While all India games have technically been sell-outs or very close to, there have also been multiple matches – for example, the clash between England and Netherlands last week – where the host venue has been nowhere near full.
There have also been media reports of multiple issues regarding fans buying tickets, which only went on sale in the final weeks before the World Cup.
In late October, the ICC claimed the Indian event had already broken the record for social media views for any World Cup.
At that point, the ICC’s figures showed that 6.64 billion social media video views had been captured.
The vast majority of those views came from platforms owned by the global social media giant Meta, with 4 billion views notched on its Facebook platform and 2.5 billion coming from Instagram.
Meanwhile, the match between India and New Zealand on October 22 set a new record for concurrent streams on Hotstar, the World Cup’s Indian streaming service partner.
That clash, which India won after a relatively close finish, attracted a record of 43 million concurrent streams via Hotstar (the digital platform of TV heavyweight Star India, which holds linear rights).