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Test ticket prices slashed

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Australia’s Mitchell Marsh appeals for the wicket of New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum at the Gabba last summer.

Robert CraddockThe Courier-Mail

TEST match cricket prices have been slashed following public protests that ticket costs were killing the five-day game.

Hoping to bring crowds back to the traditional format, Cricket Australia will on Tuesday announce a range of lower prices for the home Test series against South Africa and Pakistan next summer.

The historic day-night Test against Pakistan at the Gabba in December will feature prices as low as $40 for an adults seat.

Empty seats at the Gabba during the first Test between Australia and New Zealand.

Empty seats at the Gabba during the first Test between Australia and New Zealand.Source:News Corp Australia

More than half the venue will have tickets which are $50 or less and it is also expected there will be “twilight’’ tickets at special prices for those who come after work.

While premium tickets will remain much the same as last season, mid and low range ticket prices will drop by about $10 and family packages will drop from $135 to $113.

Bronze category family tickets will reduce from $111 to $90.

Poor crowds at last summer’s New Zealand and West Indies Test series stung Cricket Australia officials, who privately accepted the price of Test tickets had blown out of kilter with super-cheap packages for Big Bash games.

Cricket Australia was essentially competing with itself and the success of the Big Bash, while revitalising the game in this country at grassroots level, had some threatening messages to its longer form rivals.

Once senior official said “if you cut Test ticket prices and fill the stands, you will get it back at the next television deal anyway because it will look as if Test cricket is flying.’’

Cricket has never been in a better position to cut its prices.

CA is at the midpoint of a rich television deal and the next one will be even bigger.

There is talk that Channel 10 may have to pay at least double the $100 million they outlaid for a five-year Big Bash contract if they want to retain it.

Already there is speculation Channel 9 will bid for the Big Bash in an attempt to gain full control of televised cricket in Australia.

But the price of future Test rights was not helped by Nine recently attributing a slump in its share price to a one-sided, rain-marred Test summer.

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