ICC to probe World Cup ticket sales

ICC has received a detailed report pointing the anomalies in handling the ticket sales in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Getty Images

Hong Kong: Jun 30, 2011

The ICC has launched a probe into the allegations that tickets were black-marketed during the 2011 World Cup, co hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The governing body of the game received a confidential report, highlighting shortcomings in ticketing, during its Annual Conference meetings here.

After its Executive Board meeting, the ICC received a detailed report pointing the anomalies in handling the ticket sales in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, besides some shortcomings in the construction of stadia.

“Although the event was universally acclaimed as a success and one of the best cricket events in history, the report highlighted certain shortcomings around ticketing and stadia construction,” the ICC said in a statement.

“The directors noted the appointment of forensic auditors to review ticketing during the ICC Cricket World Cup, including allegations of black marketeering,” the statement added.

The World Cup ticket issue caused a major embarrassment to the ICC and the BCCI as there were no tickets available though stadiums were going empty in some cities.

The issue snowballed into a major crisis when fans were lathi charged by policemen as they sought tickets for the Bangalore fixture of the India v England match on February 26 after queuing up overnight.

Even the choice of Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for the April 2 final was controversial as 20,000 tickets and 8,500 tickets were kept apart for clubs linked to the Mumbai Cricket Association and the ICC respectively, while around 4,000 were sold to the general public for the 33,000 capacity stadium.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat stressed on the importance of learning from past mistakes to do a better job in future.

“Even though the event was hugely successful, it is important for us to learn lessons so that we can continually improve our events,” he said.

Based on a recommendation from the Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee, the ICC Executive Board also ruled that stadia hosting ICC global events must be match-ready at least six months before the event.

The decision comes in the light of the delay witnessed during the construction of the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Eden Garden, the world’s most famous stadium, which was supposed to host the India-England match, wasn’t ready in time, forcing organisers to shift the tie to Bengalaru on February 27.