Cricket fans thrashed by cops over WC tickets fiasco

Bengaluru: Police today lathicharged frenzied cricket fans as chaos broke out during sale of tickets for the keenly awaited February 27 World Cup tie between India and England at the Chinnaswamy stadium here, exemplifying another instance of ticketing mess.

Over 30,000 cricket fans had queued up since morning outside the stadium to buy tickets which went on sale yesterday, but chaos prevailed as a section of them tried to break the cordon when the counter opened a little late.

"However, those who were trying to break the line and create trouble were immediately chased away through mild lathicharge and order was restored", Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Division) G Ramesh told PTI.

"All tickets have been sold out and the situation is under control now," he added. Karnataka State Cricket Association secretary and former India pacer Javagal Srinath said about 6000 tickets have been sold at the gate.

"Mad rush is expected for any good match. A lot of people desire to watch the match," he said seeking to downplay the ticketing chaos and confusion. Srinath said they were waiting for 'tickets to come back' from ICC (International Cricket Council) and BCCI.

"If they come back, the only way we can give the public is through net, through Kyazoonga, the official ticketing partner for the event."

He said it was always difficult to satisfy everyone's needs ahead of such high-voltage clashes, but added 'we are trying to cover as much as possible. But for a match of this magnitude, even if you double (the capacity) or triple, it's not enough.'
The Cricket Board and KSCA meanwhile said the stadium capacity is limited and the ICC's demand for tickets have to be accommodated.

"The biggest challenge we are facing now is trying to meet the expectations of people and that's not possible. There is a limit till where we can keep people happy. Beyond that unhappy people will always say things which we can't answer," Srinath said.

KSCA president Anil Kumble refused to speak on the issue, saying Srinath had addressed a press conference.

ICC had yesterday asked organising committee chairman Sharad Pawar to sort out the 'ticketing mess' as soon as possible. In its letter to him, ICC said with tickets in very short supply, sales could become a security nightmare.

The ICC has not been given its share of tickets for matches for its international sponsors who are entitled to complimentary tickets. On Monday, the official online ticketing agency, which was expected to sell just 1,000 tickets for the final in Mumbai, crashed after 10 million fans tried to log on in just 20 minutes.

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