Bangalore, Feb 26 (IANS) World Cup organisers Saturday said they are releasing more tickets for Sunday’s high-octane India-England clash following the uproar among fans over the shortage of tickets.
Hundreds of unused tickets that were blocked by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for England and Kolkata fans and outsiders would be sold online Saturday night.
Police Thursday used canes to control the milling crowds as the paltry 7,000 tickets available to the general public in the 50,000-capacity stadium sold out in three hours flat. The ICC and local organisers have since drawn flak with growing demand for tickets.
“All unused tickets that were blocked by the ICC for English and Kolkata fans for the Sunday’s match will be sold tonight (Saturday) online after 8 p.m. through the designated (ticketing) website www.kyazoonga.com,” Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary and former Indian pacer Javagal Srinath told reporters here.
Though the ICC is not clear how many of the blocked tickets are being surrendered, Srinath said all the unused tickets given to the KSCA would be made available for local fans online at the price they were sold earlier.
“Unused blocked tickets are coming to us in batches of 50-100 and in some cases 200-250 from the ICC. They will be sold online and not through the counters at the price they were bought earlier,” Srinath said.
The unused tickets were sold earlier through online in the range of Rs.1,250 to Rs.7,500 per ticket.
The ICC is also likely to surrender a large number of tickets that were originally reserved for its sponsors, commercial partners, clubs, associations and VIP guests who were to watch the match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The tie was shifted to Bangalore last month.
“As the match got shifted from Kolkata to Bangalore at a short notice, not many English and Kolkata fans are likely to turn up due to travel and other reasons. Many of those were given complimentary tickets by the ICC due to protocol,” a KSCA official said.
According to Srinath, about 8,000 blocked tickets were sold online for English and Kolkata fans.
Though the capacity of the Bangalore stadium is estimated to be about 40,000 seats, Srinath said due to official commitments, about 25,000-30,000 seats were reserved for various cricket associations, club members, commercial partners, sponsors, former cricketers and VIPs, while about 7,000 seats are for general fans.
“Blocking of seats in such large numbers has been the practice over the last five decades for protocol reasons and due to other obligations. We need to change the system to increase the number of seats for die-hard fans of the game. We are open to suggestions by the public,” Srinath said.
The press conference of ICC chief executive Haroon Logat was overshadowed by the controversy arising out of thousands of local fans being deprived of tickets and caning by the police Thursday at the stadium to restore order.