Hyderabad: Ticket bags create a flutter

Hyderabad: As the blame game continues for Thursday’s fiasco during the ticket sale of India’s third T-20 match, the distribution of tickets to cricket club secretaries and other VIPs at the stadium caused a flutter.

It is alleged that even while the president of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) Muhammad Azharuddin was in his room, three bags of tickets were brought to the stadium and distributed to selected people. Video footage of this exercise was taken by some regional TV channels. Upon noticing the television cameras, the people who were distributing these tickets reportedly left the place. It is not clear if the tickets were free or those that were intended for sale.

Earlier, Azhar El Din, at a press conference, said that they were not at all involved in selling tickets. “We’ve given the contract to a third party and they’re dealing with it. How are we in the picture? Is there a possibility that we could be involved in any of this? What happened yesterday was a sad thing. But how can you blame it? Us?” Asked.

There have been several allegations of the association mishandling ticket sales and making money by selling tickets in black. But Azhar al-Din denied this. “When all the ticket selling is online, apart from a few tickets offline, how do we get involved? There is a police force and they will deal with the problem. When someone buys a ticket offline or online, what they do with it then is It’s not in our hands. We don’t bother what they do with them. If they sell it to the black police the police will act. There are few things beyond our control.”

When asked why HCA did not care about the number of tickets available online and offline, he said: “11,450 tickets were sold online on September 15 while 4,000 box tickets were sold to companies later. About 3,000 tickets were sold and 2,100 tickets were sold. Online again on Thursday. About 6,000 tickets will be awarded to the association’s internal stakeholders and partners.

While the stadium’s capacity is close to 55,000, about 39,000 tickets should be made available to the public, which was not the case. It is claimed that there is a discrepancy in the numbers released by HCA and the actual number of tickets coming to about 10,000-15,000 tickets.

Meanwhile, Secretary R Vijayanand said, “Although there are differences in the association, we have come together to make the match go smoothly. When the ticket sale is handed over to a third party, they will take care of everything. We are working hand in hand with the government to make the match a success.”

When asked about police cases booked against HCA officials, he said Paytm is the official ticket selling partner and blamed them for the failure.

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