ICC tells Pawar to sort out ticket sales mess

Zeecric Bureau

New Delhi: In a strongly worded letter to the World Cup organising committee, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked the organisers to sort out the ticket sales mess or face serious action.

According to sources, David Becker – the ICC legal head – has written a letter to organising committee chief Sharad Pawar, saying that the hosts will have to pay up the compensation, which commercial partners and angry fans are demanding because of the ticket sales fiasco.

Sharad Pawar is the ICC president and also the head of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

The MCA had recently announced that just four thousands tickets will be up for sale for general public at the Wankhede Stadium, which hosts the final of the 2011 cricket World Cup on April 2, while the rest of the 27,000 tickets will be shared by MCA members and other partners.

The announcement resulted in a huge rush for the tickets for the all important final.

Ten million fans seeking just 1000 tickets for the final crashed a World Cup website in just 20 minutes, the official ticket agency revealed on Wednesday.

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

Monday`s problems launched a huge online backlash by fans seeking the precious tickets for the April 2 final in Mumbai but the KyaZoonga agency said the demand had taken everyone by surprise.

"There was a limited supply of tickets and the demand was unprecedented. The website got completely overloaded," KyaZoonga chief executive officer Neetu Bhatia said on Wednesday.

"To give you a perspective, Facebook gets 14 million visits a day and we got 10 million in the first 20 minutes. It just kept coming.

"While we were prepared obviously for a surge, everyone tried to hit at the same time because we had given them a time. Any system has a certain capacity and no matter how much you expand, if traffic keeps coming, systems get overloaded."

Bhatia said the ballot system would allow the public a wider window to apply for tickets.

"We are working on an alternative system which will give people a lot more time. It will be a ballot system. Ballot is run in Wimbledon and other grand slam (tennis) tournaments and the Olympics."

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