New Delhi: Nov 8, 2011
Officials of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) Tuesday rubbished reports of tickets for the first Test between India and the West Indies at the Ferozeshah Kotla being sold in the black market.
DDCA secretary general S.P.Bansal laughed off a media report claiming that tickets were being sold in the black market outside the ground Monday.
"The capacity of the stadium is 42,000 and only eight thousand spectators turned up Sunday. There is no demand for tickets for this low profile series. I think media reports of black marketing are ridiculous and baseless," said Bansal.
Bansal said the counters at the adjoining Ambedkar Stadium had to be closed because of security reasons, but the tickets were available at the nearby Bank of Maharashtra and a lot of people bought them from there.
Another official, not wanting to be named, said it was illogical for anyone to buy tickets in black market when they actually were being sold at half the price outside the stadium.
"When did you last see a stadium full for a Test match? People come only for shorter versions of the game. I am hearing for the first time black market in Test tickets. In fact, after the World Cup fans are not keen on watching even one-dayers," the official said.
However, even DDCA did not appear to be all that keen on selling tickets. As IANS reported, the association's apathy turned many fans away on the first two days as most of them were unwilling to go to the bank and buy the tickets.
The fans, who turned up on the first two days, came in anticipation of Tendulkar's 100th international century, and they were disappointed to find the DDCA ticket-counters closed.
A low-profile series against a lowly-ranked West Indies side was never expected to draw huge crowds, but expectations of Tendulkar's 100th international hundred brought the diehard to the Kotla.
There was a mad a rush for tickets during the World Cup, but since then there has been a noticeable decline in crowds for India matches.
Initially, there was some enthusiasm in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which started six days after India's World Cup triumph, but soon not only the ad rates fell but fans also stayed away.
Empty stands were noticeable not only during the Twenty20 Champions League, but also during the One-day series against England, which India won 5-0 in a one-sided affair. (IANS)