One of the most unfortunate instances of the high handedness of the cricket administrators was witnessed when a mere 3000 tickets were made available to the general members of the public for the 2011 World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium. Needless to say, the rest of the 30,000 odd tickets went to VIPs, BCCI members, local board members and the kith and kin of the powers that be. It was perhaps one of the most important games that ever took place on Indian soil considering the fact that India were playing in the final and the public were left to fight for scraps.
However, the nations awaits two more Test matches against the West Indies next month of colossal importance since those would be the last 2 games that Sachin Tendulkar will play before he hangs up his well worn boots. The 2 Tests of the short series would be played at the Eden Gardens and the Wankhede Stadium, two grounds that are perhaps the most suited to host games of such importance. As soon as the fixtures were announced, there has been a mad rush for tickets in both cities but it is only the Cricket Association of Bengal who have released the dates when the tickets would go on sales so far but they have also informed that there would only be 5000 tickets that would be made available to the public. In addition to that, the tickets would only be available online which means that people from the city would not have any advantage whatsoever when it comes to booking the tickets since people from other cities can also buy a ticket and then travel to Calcutta.
The Eden Gardens has a capacity of 68000 and understandably one would think that a larger share of the tickets should have been made available for sale to the public but unfortunately the administrators did not view the situation in the same light. Consider the facts, the allocation of tickets has been broken down in this way- 30000 to CAB members, 24000 to affiliated units, 9000 to BCCI and a mere 5000 tickets to the public, after the tickets to the VIPs and other individuals have been taken care of. Can there be a bigger injustice, when spectators from one of the most sports mad cities in India cannot get a ticket? Yes, 5000 of them would get it and many would not. Watching Sachin Tendulkar’s 199th Test match is an experience of a lifetime and missing out on it is surely a mental scar for any cricket fan.
The breakup of the ticket allocation for the Wankhede Test match has not been announced yet but do not be surprised if the number of tickets that are made available to the public is even less. Although one can say that this attitude might change some day, the injustice of denying so many people the chance of watching these Test matches is something that should never be forgotten.
Image Source: By Suraj100.Suraj100 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons