Srinath admits limited ticket offer for India-England Match

Defending the availability of only a few tickets for the general public, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) today blamed the prevalent quota system as one of the reasons for its inability to meet the huge public demand.

Police caned enthusiastic cricket fans who thronged the M Chinnaswamy Stadium of the KSCA for the India-England World Cup match slated for February 27.

Addressing newsmen at a hurriedly convened press conference, KSCA Secretary and former Indian pacer Javagal Srinath expressed helplessness, stating that the association had to fulfil the quotas of various cricket associations within the state, the sponsors, other state cricket boards, BCCI and the ICC.

"These commitments are already made and KSCA cannot back track from it," he stated.

ICC, according to media reports, had written a strongly worded letter to Mr Sharad Pawar, who is the chairman of the organising committee of the World Cup, over the chaos and "irregularities" in the sale of tickets to the public.

Srinath said, "There is a limit to what we can do. We could offer only 7000 tickets to public today. We will try to get more tickets from the ICC if possible, and sell them to the public."

Police beat up the angry mobs at the counters as the tickets offered to the public were sold out within three hours after the booths were thrown open this morning.

A huge number of people still thronged the stadium and stood in serpentine queues hoping that they do not return home disappointed. The scene in front of one of the booths looked like a battle ground with a large number of fans attacking the well secured booths and police caning them to restore order.

A large number of shoes and chappals were strewn around as the fans ran helter-skelter to avoid police action.

Large numbers of cricket buffs had slept in the nearby Cubbon Park overnight to get tickets as police told them that they cannot sleep in the barricades erected for maintaining queues near the half dozen booths, like they did during previous occasions.

The Chinnaswamy Stadium in the city has a capacity of 35,000 and it is expected that the total number of people who would watch the Sunday's match may exceed 40,000.


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