Ahmedabad, March 23 (IANS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) Wednesday defended its decision to host the World Cup final in Mumbai’s low-capacity Wankhede Stadium, saying it provides a perfect stage for Sachin Tendulkar to get a “fairytale” century and for India to win the title.
Responding to queries about the huge demand for tickets for the final, ICC’s chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: “Can you imagine a fairytale ending with Sachin Tendulkar getting a hundred in the final and India winning at Wankhede, which is his (Tendulkar’s) home ground?”
The ICC has come under fierce criticism after it was revealed that just 10 percent of tickets for the April 2 final at the 33,000-seater Wankhede Stadium were available for sale to public. The rest of the tickets are meant for sponsors and club commitments.
Wankhede belongs to Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), which is headed by ICC president Sharad Pawar.
When it was pointed out that the historical Eden Gardens in Kolkata or Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla has more capacity than the Wankhede, Lorgat said: “No matter what the number (of seats), we do not have sufficient tickets.”
Asked about rampant blackmarketing, Lorgat said: “We simply don’t tolerate blackmarketing of tickets and where we have found those instances we have certainly taken action. In certain instances there have been arrests. We do alert police and other officials to ensure that does not happen.”