With less than a month to go for the historic 200th and last Test of Sachin Tendulkar at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from November 14-18, the chaos over distribution and/or sale of tickets is making all the news, a report in the Hindustan Times said.
Last time Wankhede hosted a landmark match in the form of World Cup final on April 2, 2011, there was chaos during the sale of tickets. Irregularities on part of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and 'black marketing' meant that fans were starved of the action, even as 525 tickets went unsold, causing a loss of Rs. 73.5 lakh. The same looms over the momentous match of India's favourite son, who will hang his boots after the match.
Doubts have crept in after the newly-elected MCA president Sharad Pawar disbanded the inquiry committee looking into the World Cup ticket fiasco. "One hopes the new committee will handle the ticket distribution in a transparent manner," Ravi Mandrekar, MCA official and complainant in the World Cup final ticket fiasco, said on Friday.
Though Wankhede can hold 32,000 spectators, more than 80 percent of the tickets are not sold to the public. Around 6000 tickets have been kept aside for 300 affiliated clubs, another 6000 go to the five gymkhanas, while 6000 are handed to the Garware Club.
Apart from these, a few thousands are distributed as complimentary, most of them being cornered by government agencies like the BMC and the Mumbai Police. "We cannot help it. We have to give tickets to our clubs and former cricketers. They are our priority. Also are they not part of the public?" an MCA official told Hindustan Times.
"BCCI has sought 300 extra tickets for the big game," the official added.