When the ICC ruled that Eden Gardens wouldn’t be ready in time to host the India vs England encounter on Feb 27th and that the new venue would be the Chinnaswamy stadium, their was disappointment all around. The only people rejoicing were my fellow Bangaloreans. After all, it seemed a much better proposition than having to be satisfied with an unevenly matched India-Ireland game.
Given the change of plans and time constraints it was natural that ticket sales for the match would take some time to begin. This compounded with the fact that Eden Gardens had an almost double capacity, which would have been the basis on which promises for tickets were made to sponsors and corporates. Now, with just ten days to go for the match, there is still no sign of ticket sales. It’s the hot topic all across the city with cricket lovers scampering around in search of tickets. On Tuesday a black marketeer trying to make some money out of the demand, was arrested and 80 tickets for the members stand were recovered from him.
KSCA officials have said not to expect tickets to be on sale before Feb 19th and have no answer for the number of tickets that will finally be available for the public.
Another story doing the rounds is that an approximately 4000 strong contingent of English fans (the Barmy Army) had booked tickets at the Eden Gardens months in advance and are furious at the change in venue which has also disrupted their travel arrangements. They have apparently demanded that their tickets be replaced. The Barmy Army hasn’t confirmed this though.
Anil Kumble, in his new role as KSCA President, has been quoted as saying that “the ICC wants 7,000 -10,000 premium tickets and all that is being factored in while deciding rates”.
Bangalore’s Municipal Council (the BBMP) meanwhile, have arm twisted the KSCA into handing over 100 tickets for its corporators. The Bangalore police are also planning to deploy around 1500 personnel for security, which will further deprive the public of seats. The stadium capacity is 38, 400, that leaves around 25,000 tickets inclusive of those reserved for KSCA members, VIPs etc. With such few tickets left and an inevitable last minute rush for them, all those in Bangalore determined to catch the India-England game might just have to rely on the good ol' idiot box.