monopolises world cup tickets as fans disappointed
It’s a cricket world cup and there is a tragic twist
concerning tickets and cricket fans. While the
extravaganza has reached its height of entering the
semi-final stage, genuine fans by their numbers have
apparently been shut out.
Reason because there is a sinister undercurrent
running a monopoly of ticket sales.
So much so that even hungry fans in search of the
Rs.50 ticket find themselves locked out.
Sadly, while the governing arm of the game – Sri
Lanka Cricket (SLC) claims it is helpless against
this situation, angry fans continue to point an
accusing finger at the cricket authorities that
there has not been a coherent system of sales.
Evidently what has happened is that the black market
has taken over almost en masse; a familiar sight
during the Pakistan-Australia match at the gates to
the R. Premadasa Stadium was the illegal running of
tickets under the very eyes of the police and match
Last Tuesday, tickets costing just Rs. 300 for a
World Cup semi-final that could feature Sri Lanka
were sold out in just 90 minutes leaving about
25,000 cursing fans in cold storage.
The million dollar cricket question doing the rounds
is, “The World Cup is for the benefit of genuine Sri
Lankan cricket fans who simply dote over their
heroes or for the black-market. Does it mean the
survival of the fittest who can flex their muscles
in having their own way?
An SLC official when contacted by The Nation reacted
by saying, “All we can say is that we have sold two
tickets per person. We can’t stop people buying
tickets and how are we to differentiate between a
cricket fan and an illegal ticket pusher? And we’ve
not received a single complaint from a fan.”
But cricket lovers were unanimous in their opinion
that there should have been a foolproof system in
place to counter shady dealers.
“Most of the people who came here were businessmen
who want to resell the tickets. Those were not
cricket fans and real cricket fans could not get the
tickets,” a 49-year photographer named Wickramage
Sri Lanka’s World Cup director Suraj Dandeniya said
it was impossible to meet the demands of the
“We had to close the ticket counters within 1-1/2
hours as all the tickets were sold out,” Dandeniya
“We sold only up to 9,500 tickets but there were
around 25,000 people queued up for the tickets and,
unlike earlier matches, we restricted one ticket per
The organising committee decided to sell 25,000
tickets to the public with a maximum price of SLR
7,500 per ticket.
The majority of tickets were priced at 300 rupees.
Last month the official online ticket website
crashed due to 10 million people chasing just 1,000
tickets for the April 2 final in Mumbai.