ICC awaits response from Pawar on ticket fiasco

NEW DELHI: ICC Head of Media and Communications Colin Gibson today said that the governing body is awaiting a response from its president Sharad Pawar regarding the controversy involving sale and distribution of tickets for World Cup final.

Left red faced after World Cup’s official ticketing website — kyazoonga.com — crashed because of overload, the International Cricket Council shot off a letter to Pawar asking him to intervene in the controversy involving the sale of tickets for the summit clash.

“The ICC is awaiting a response from him to decide on further course of action,” Gibson, also the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Media Director, told PTI.

The move from the ICC came after rush for tickets saw the ticketing site crashing in just 20 minutes after tickets for the final at the Wankhede stadium on April 2 were put on sale.

Tournament organisers were forced to scrap plans to sell the tickets on the web and organise a ballot system instead.

The ICC was also furious with the state of affairs in which the ticketing for the final was handled. The Mumbai Cricket Association, of which Pawar is the president, has made only 4,000 tickets available to the general public for the summit clash.

The remaining 27,000 seats at the refurbished stadium will be shared by MCA members and ICC’s commercial partners.

In a letter dated February 23, the ICC’s legal head David Backer wrote to Pawar, who is also the chief of the World Cup organising committee, “We have received many complaints from fans who purchased tickets but are yet to receive them despite having paid for these tickets more than six months ago. Apart from threat of claims for compensation, this is causing a significant public relations issue for the ICC.”

“With the significant demand and little availability (i.e. after 20,000 reserved for MCA and 7,900 for ICC partners) there is potential for chaos and physical injury when the box office sales open. We strongly recommend the sale of tickets be cancelled and tickets sold to defined fans.

“We have not received any tickets for Wankhede Stadium.

We have received numerous complaints from our commercial partners, who have paid millions of dollars to receive rights and benefits which include the timely provision of tickets and hospitality. This is placing our sound relationships at breaking point.

“ICC is being seriously challenged and is bitterly disappointed by the above state of affairs, which threaten to undermine everything that all of us have worked so hard to achieve over recent months. We will be grateful for your intervention and assurance that the above issues will be addressed as a matter of urgency,” Becker wrote.

The problems with ticketing arised because the BCCI chose to print and distribute tickets through multiple state associations rather than one central ticketing agency. This led to delays in the physical tickets being made available for those who have bought them online and the inability to forward the sponsors share of the tickets for matches.

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