“India as a destination … it has always been local sale which chews up into the entire volume than people coming from outside,” a committee member said © WICB Media
The ICC has commenced sale of tickets on its website for the World T20 in India, with less than two weeks for the event to begin. The first phase of the sale, which kicked off at 12 pm IST, makes tickets available for matches in Bangalore, Chennai, Dharamsala, Kolkata and Mohali, excluding those featuring India, the semi-finals and the final of the men’s and women’s events. According to a BCCI release, the second phase of sale for matches in Mumbai, Delhi and Nagpur will be announced soon.
Tickets for seven “highly sought after” matches – four India games, two semi-finals and the final – will be sold online through a lottery system, where buyers need to indicate their preferred match after registering themselves. They will then be moved to a draw where the winners will be chosen through an automated process following which they will receive a payment link to complete the booking. The window to register will be open only for seven days from February 25. Only two tickets can be purchased per person for India matches, the semi-finals and the final, while for other games a maximum of six tickets per person is allowed.
The BCCI has appointed bookmyshow.com as the ticketing agency for the event, and has stated that the entire ticketing process is “monitored and audited by a reputed auditing agency.”
A member of the tournament organising committee told ESPNcricinfo that the schedule for sale of tickets over-the-counter for all matches would be announced by the respective hosting centres. He also said the lottery system was to streamline the high demand for tickets.
“We had to do lottery system otherwise [when a] traditional ticket counter opens up, some 20,000 people queue up. The first 10,000 [people] get [tickets] and then there is a lathi charge. We have to move away from that culture,” he said.
“If you put [tickets online on] first-come-first-serve basis, there will be some 10,000 people who click at 12. After 12:05 pm, the entire system becomes redundant. The traffic for these high-priority games is huge, so everyone must get a fair opportunity.”
While ticket sales in previous editions of the World T20 had commenced three to six months ahead of the event, the current edition has seen a number of delays. The ICC had earlier refused to be drawn into any criticism of the ticketing process, stating it would be “inappropriate” to make comparisons. The organising committee member attributed the delay to a combination of factors, including the uncertainty over the status of Delhi as a host.
“The schedule was launched only on December 19 [December 11], and only after that our work starts,” he said. “We have to start pricing separately for women’s games, men’s games, the semi-finals and final. Once the [ticketing] agency is finalised you will have to do backend mapping. Delhi has obviously been a a contributing factor for the delay. Till 10 days [ago] I didn’t know if I had to push those games to some other venue.”
The member said other hosting nations in the past were able to put tickets up for sale early because of the ICC announcing the fixtures “well in advance.” He also pointed to the logistical issues in hosting the matches out of eight centres – a first as previous editions of the World T20 have only featured three venues. “As much as it looks like a T20 format, look at the complexity of the whole tournament. This is the first time we are doing women’s and men’s matches together, and we have double-headers,” he said. However, the last three editions of the World T20 featured men’s and women’s games simultaneously.
While such delays hurt the travelling fan the most, the member contended that ticket sales were almost entirely driven by local public. “Look at this way, India as a destination … it has always been local sale which chews up into the entire volume than people coming from outside,” he said. “That’s not a reason [for the delay], but it’s a comfort in some way.”
Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo