Chris Dehring (left) expects that fans will attend the semi-finals of the World Cup being anxious to be part of a piece of history regardless of what side they support © AFP

Chris Dehring, the managing director of the World Cup, said that despite the perceived low turnout the revenue from ticket sales is already double of the total ticket sales worth US$ 10.5 million from the last World Cup in South Africa.

"That's already a creditable showing when you compare South Africa's size, both in population and economy, with that of the West Indies," Dehring told the Sunday Observer, a Jamaican newspaper.

The average attendance, according to Dehring, of the three Super Eights games - England v Sri Lanka, Bangladesh v South Africa and Australia v England - just before the Ireland-New Zealand match was just under 10,000. "If we continue on this upward trend as expected, our average attendance will be comparable with the previous CWC in South Africa, which had an average attendance of around 10,000 persons per game".

An optimistic Dehring also said that the tournament would rebound from early exit of India and Pakistan. "As certain teams continue to excel we anticipate seeing more nationals from those countries."

Dehring added that 80 to 90 per cent of tickets for the semi-finals had been sold and that in his opinion they hadn't been bought with particular teams in mind. "You're always going to have fans who have tickets with the hope of supporting their team, but will always... be anxious to be there and be a part of history," he said. He also explained that a review of the World Cup could not be carried until the tournament had finished as factors varied in each game.

With sponsors putting a number of tickets back into the system, there are now more tickets available to the general public for the first semi-final on April 24 in Jamaica, said Pauline Nelson, the communication manager at the Jamaica Local Organising Committee. Approximately one thousand Category One tickets are available, as are a smaller number of Category Two and Three tickets.