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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Ticket chaos shows ODIs still popular: ICC

Ticket chaos shows ODIs still popular: ICC

Last updated on: February 26, 2011 18:15 IST

The International Cricket Council on Friday back-tracked on its aggressive stance?against Sharad Pawar and called upon its president to help in resolving the ticketing issue.

"From time to time we write to our president, and in this case also the chairman of the organising committee, to assist us whenever we are having any difficulty.

"It is also true in the past that, any other complication that we face, the office of Pawar has been very supportive. He has assisted us to resolve these issues, and I'm sure that in this particular incident as well we have that sort of support and we will get it," ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat said in Bangalore on Saturday.

- World Cup coverage

The ICC's legal head, David Becker, had written to Pawar earlier in the week after the official ticketing website for the World Cup crashed within minutes of?sales?for the final started.

A ticket counter at the Chinnaswamy stadium in BangaloreIn turn, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty slammed the world governing body, saying Becker's letter was totally uncalled for.

But all that seemed forgotten on the eve of Sunday's India-England match, with the ICC saying they understand the difficulties the Mumbai Cricket Association faces, since?it?has to?give?a large chunk of tickets to various gymkhanas and clubs.

"I have had several discussions with professor?Shetty and Shashank Manohar. We all understand the difficulties that we were experiencing. It is reflection of great demand and I'm excited by that. Sure, we can manage the whole process better and we will do through the ballot process that should work a lot better.

"With respect to the website, that shows the popularity of the ICC's flagship event; it is unfortunate that the system crashed and I can assure that nobody, if your or me we were doing it, we would not have anticipated that many multi-millions of hits."

Lorgat went on to?add a new spin to the whole controversy, saying?the mad rush for?tickets proves that One-Day Internationals are still a huge hit among?fans.

"It shows the popularity of the game. Sure, the need to find better ways to be able to distribute tickets. But the reality, if tomorrow we have 100,000 seats, we still won't have enough tickets to go and satisfy the public demands.

"Some while back we talk about of the demise of?50-over cricket. And look what we have got. No matter what sort of capacity we provide, the truth is there won't be enough seats for the demand that is on our hand," he added.

Lorgat pointed out that the ICC is working on a system to distribute the tickets for the semi-finals and final in a more organised manner.

"The process that we will follow will be through the ballot system to release tickets for future matches including the semi-finals and final. It is a much fairer way and it will avoid the physical risks that we want to avoid, and I'm confident that will be a much better system to release tickets," he said.

He?also rubbished?doubts of the Wankhede stadium being unprepared to stage the World Cup matches, including the final.

"As far as the Wankhede stadium is concerned, I have said earlier there were Twenty20 matches that have been played there and the stadium has been inspected; we have experts whom I can assure you will not pass the stadium unless they are satisfied with the preparedness.

Photograph: Reuters

Harish Kotian Bangalore