Hyderabad: Ticket suitcases create flutter

Hyderabad: While the blame game regarding the fiasco witnessed on Thursday during the sale of tickets for India Australia third T-20 match continues, distribution of tickets to secretaries of the cricket club and other VIPs at the stadium created a flutter.

It is alleged that even while the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president Mohammad Azharuddin was in his room, three suitcases of tickets were brought to the stadium and were distributed to select people. Visuals of this exercise were captured by some regional TV channels. On noticing the TV cameras, the people who were distributing these tickets reportedly left the place. It is not clear whether they were complimentary tickets or those which were meant for sale.

Earlier, addressing a press conference, Azharuddin said that they were not at all involved in the sale of tickets. “We have given the contract to a third party and they are handling it. How are we in the picture? Is there a chance we are involved in any of this? What happened yesterday was a sad thing. But how can you blame it on us?” he asked.

There were several allegations on the association for mishandling ticket sales and making money by selling tickets in black. But Azharuddin denied it. “When the ticket sale is all online, apart from a few tickets offline, how can we be involved? There is a police force and they will handle the issue. When someone buys a ticket offline or online, what he does with it afterwards is not in our hands. We are not bothered what they do with them. If they sell it in black police will act. There are a few things which are beyond our control,” he said.

When asked why HCA is cagey about the number of tickets available online and offline, he said, “11,450 tickets were sold online on September 15 while 4,000 corporate box tickets were sold later. Around 3,000 tickets were put on sale offline and 2,100 tickets were sold online again on Thursday. Around 6,000 tickets are being given to the stakeholders and internal partners of the association,” he added.

While the stadium capacity is close to 55,000, around 39,000 tickets should be made available to the public, which was not the case. It is being alleged that there is variation in the figures released by the HCA and the actual number of tickets to the tune of about 10,000 to 15,000 tickets.

Meanwhile, secretary R Vijayanand said, “Though we have differences in the association, we came together to conduct the match smoothly. When the ticket sale is given to a third party, they will take care of everything. We are working in tandem with the government to make the match a success.”

When asked about the police cases booked against the HCA officials, he said Paytm is the official partner to sell tickets and he blamed them for the fiasco.

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