Tournament logo unveiled June 12, 2007

Low-cost tickets for Twenty20 Championship

Ken Borland

The low-cost tickets should bring in the crowds © Getty Images
Gerald Majola, the chief executive of Cricket South Africa, entered into the revolutionary spirit of 20/20 cricket on Tuesday when he announced low-cost ticket prices for the World Twenty20 in South Africa in September and sniped at the ICC's handling of previous tournaments.

"We have to ensure every person is able to enjoy the event and that the stadia are full," Majola said on Tuesday at the unveiling of the tournament logo and the cheap ticket prices, even by South African standards. We looked at the previous two ICC tournaments and, in my opinion, they were not successful. So we have looked at those pitfalls and will take care of those in South Africa," he added.

And Majola and tournament director Steve Elworthy are being true to their word.The cheapest tickets for the 14-day championship starting on September 11 cost just R20 [£1.40] for those happy to sit on the grass banks during the group stage of matches. Grandstand seats cost R40 [£2.80], while the prices go up to R40 [£2.80] and R80 [£5.60] respectively for the Super Eights stage.The tariffs for the opening game (SA v WI) and ceremony, semifinals and final are R100 [£7] and R160 [£11.20] respectively.

And if fans want to attend one of the five double-header days - two matches in one day at the same stadium - they won't pay through the nose either. For group stage double-headers the ticket prices are R40 [£2.80] and R80 [£5.60] and R60 [£4.20] and R120 [£8.40].

"The pricing of tickets will be fundamental to our success," Elworthy said. "So it was a major challenge getting the blend of pricing right to ensure we filled each stadium nine times in 14 days, because there are 27 games split amongst three venues. So the tickets are very competitively priced to ensure there is no barrier to entry."

The tournament logo, designed by Minardi Brice, features a de-constructed graphic of crashing wickets and a ball rebounding from them and, according to Elworthy, "directly targets the youth, but also captures the format's vibrant energy and the strength in diversity South Africa is known to stand for globally".

"We believe 20/20 was born in South Africa so it is only fair that the first world championship is held here," Majola said. "We pride ourselves in South Africa that we host the best events here and we have to make sure we keep that tradition," he said, referring to the 2003 World Cup and the Women's World Cup held in 2005.

"We understand what Pro20 has done for cricket in South Africa. We wanted to make cricket a truly national game, accessible to all. Pro20 has been the vehicle we've used to take cricket to the masses," Majola said.

Elworthy announced that ODI champions Australia would be the first team to arrive in South Africa, on September 3. All the competing nations, barring India and England, have requested warm-up games, which would be held in Benoni, Centurion and Potchefstroom on September 8 and 9. India and England will be busy finishing up their series in England that weekend.

"It's going to be non-stop cricket action," Elworthy promised.