WC tickets at Eden may get dearer by 20 percent

Kolkata: If the West Bengal government has its way in imposing entertainment tax, then the prices of World Cup tickets for the four matches scheduled at Eden Gardens might shoot up by 20 per cent.

But the hosts, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), will make an appeal at the state governement as a team led by its president Jagmohan Dalmiya will meet the state finance minister on Wednesday.

The tickets for the India-England match on February 27 has been fixed at Rs 1500 and 1200 while for the remaining three non-India matches it will be sold at Rs 1000 and Rs 700.

But if the state government imposes the entertainment tax, the price will go up by 20 per cent, CAB chief Jagmohan Dalmiya told reporters today.

"We will make an appeal to not levy entertainment tax on a premier event like the World Cup," Dalmiya said.

Criticising the state government`s decision to levy tax, CAB joint-secretary Biswarup Dey argued that the World Cup is not a commercial tournament like the IPL.

"Even the governemnt had waived off entertainment tax in Commonwealth Games, Asian Games. At least in the last 10 years, I have not come across a situation like this.

"This is an international tournament with the highest stature. We will make an appeal to the state to waive off the tax," Dey said.

CAB has also decided to agree on a 40 per cent reduction in the quota of tickets sold to the 121 affiliated units as the 87,000-capacity Eden Gardens will be shrunk to 63,000 after the ongoing renovation.

Earlier, each unit was entitled to buy out about 200 to 300 tickets as club quota.

Beside this, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has also fixed a quota of 10,000 tickets.

"The members unanimously agreed on the reduction of the number of quota tickets. A final figure on the number of tickets that will be available for sale is yet to be ascertained," Dalmiya said.

The CAB has 121 affiliated units including 37 first division clubs, 57 second division clubs, 17 districts, eight universities and one West Bengal Office Sports Federation.

Eden Gardens is scheduled to host four group matches - India vs England on February 27, Ireland vs South Africa on March 15, Ireland vs Netherlands on March 18 and Kenya vs Zimbabwe on March 20.