Adam Gilchrist fears 50-over cricket could be on the verge of being "cannibalised" by the Twenty20 game and has urged administrators to drop ticket prices for the World Cup.
Gilchrist admitted the "sterile" atmosphere of the World Cup, with its half-filled grandstands and over-regulated crowd control, had lacked the rich Caribbean flavour of Australia's last Test tour four years ago.
The tournament revved up with a wonderful match when Sri Lanka beat England by two runs yesterday but the sight of raucous fans celebrating in the stands has been all too rare.
As Gilchrist was suggesting tickets be sold at a cut-price rate for the rest of the tournament, besieged Cup organisers were meeting last night to discuss that very issue.
Stunned by the poor turn-out, even for matches involving the West Indies, administrators are likely to widen the areas of the lowest priced tickets which go for $US25.
Gilchrist had previously cautioned against making the Twenty20 game too big, too quickly but now wonders whether its swift progress will be unstoppable.
"I have suggested a softly, softly approach (with Twenty20 cricket) which does not mean I disapprove of the game," Gilchrist said.
"(But) having seen the lack of crowds at this World Cup maybe it is going to be the way to go. It might cannibalise the one-day game a little bit but we might have to deal with that as we go. It is a popular format.
"There are a lot of people interested in the World Cup and just talking to the locals everyone is aware of it and very excited to have it here, but that is not being translated into big numbers at the grounds which is a bit disappointing as a player.
"You come here, as spectators do, to experience the unique atmosphere of Caribbean cricket. There is certainly a sterile feel about it.
"Whatever the policy is at the moment does not seem to be working so maybe we can look at dropping the price and having a sale."