winning lottery easier than getting a seat for mumbai match
Statesman News Service
Mumbai, 11 November
Winning a Maharashtra state lottery ticket could have been easier and more lucrative than booking an online ticket to watch the deified Sachin Tendulkar play his last Test before his home crowd against West Indies this Thursday.
With 80 per cent of a little more than 32,000 tickets kept aside for affiliated gymkhanas, member clubs, the BCCI and government and municipal officials, a paltry 5,000 tickets were to be sold online by the Mumbai Cricket Association in collaboration with its time-tested business partner
But as soon as the lines opened at 11 am on Monday, the server crashed as it could not withstand the heavy traffic, much to the chagrin of thousands of cricket buffs. Online buyers were greeted with a message “server too busy."
The organisers were in a way were responsible for the server crash; the MCA on many occasions leading up to this day had announced it expected the 5,000 tickets to be sold out within five minutes. This hype led to a frenzied rush to book tickets.
Although the sale crumbled at the outset, MCA officials PV Shetty and Nitin Dalal, both joint secretaries, justified the decision of choosing, citing past professional experience. The massive demand for tickets was well anticipated but the website was not formidable enough to withstand the demand.
Irate cricket lovers had no other way to express their anguish except to go online, which they did, flaying the MCA for clumsy online sale of tickets. It is anybody’s guess how many genuine buyers managed to get tickets, since re-selling tickets in the grey market will fetch seven to ten times the actual price.
Cricket-lovers vent their ire at MCA for making only 5,000 tickets available to the “common public”.
More than 80 per cent tickets have been allotted to five major gymkhanas; 6,000 tickets have been kept aside for 320 affiliate clubs, 2,500 for BCCI, and a few thousands have been doled out as complimentary to government and municipal officials,including the top police brass. The MCA could not say no to Tendulkar’s request for 300 tickets either.
Following such charitable dispensation, the “general public” was asked to purchase 5,000 tickets costing Rs 500, Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,500 (that gives vantage seat in North Stand) online.
MCA had opted for online sale to avoid chaos and ensure transparency. However, unaware of the MCA’s online sale move, hundreds of fans protested outside the Wankhede Stadium. They started queueing up outside the stadium from early morning, hoping to get a ticket.
Fans started shouting slogans against the administrators when they were told that tickets would only be sold online.
However, police force present at the stadium managed to disburse the crowd.