London, July 3: Children will be able to watch an international match from the pavilion at Lord's for the first time on Friday (July 5) as cricket bosses scramble to make sure seats are filled.
Officials fear a repeat of the scenes during the 2017 Women's World Cup final between England and India, when TV images of a sparsely populated pavilion contrasted with packed stands in the rest of the ground.
A Marylebone Cricket Club statement said 250 schoolchildren had been invited to watch Friday's World Cup match between Pakistan and Bangladesh in the pavilion.
But an email to the membership sent by MCC secretary and chief executive Guy Lavender explained the pavilion was "heavily undersubscribed" for the match, with less than 50 percent of tickets sold.
"Members may recall the ICC Women's World Cup Final in 2017, when unfavourable comparisons were made between the number of members in the pavilion and full stands in the rest of the ground," he said.
"This is damaging to MCC's global reputation and the committee is determined to avoid a repetition of these images on Friday."
Lavender tried to allay fears about an increase in noise levels by saying the schoolchildren would be "under the strict supervision of their teachers and our community staff".