World T20 2016 January 18, 2016

ICC WT20 tickets yet to go on sale

Sidharth Monga and Nagraj Gollapudi

"If the tickets are made available well in advance those asking for complimentary passes make your life difficult," a BCCI official said © BCCI

The tickets for the World Twenty20 are likely to go up for sale by the end of this week, with the BCCI saying it doesn't think it is too late for the tickets to be made available.

The first qualifier starts on March 8, but the Indian board is happy to have the tickets up for grabs a little under two months from the first match of the "main" tournament on March 15. However, when the schedule of the World Twenty20 was announced, the ICC insisted that the qualifying part of the tournament be called the first round of the tournament.

At any rate, India have set the record for putting the tickets up for sale with least amount of planning time available for the fans when it comes to world events.

For the World Cup co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in February-March 2011, tickets went up for sale on June 1, 2010. In 2012, Sri Lanka offered World T0 tickets six months before the event. The West Indies provided a five-and-a-month notice for the World T20 in 2010. Bangladesh, who hosted the World T20 in March 2014, started the sale of tickets on November 7, 2013. Even South Africa, who hosted the first World T20, put up tickets for sale three months in advance.

The ticketing process is always the host board's responsibility. In an emailed response, the ICC has refused to be drawn into any criticism of the ticketing process. "It will be inappropriate to compare the ICC WT20 India 2016 with any previous event as the preparation for every event is different," the ICC said.

However, a source in the ICC, closely involved with the organising part of the event, told ESPNcricinfo that everything from announcing venues to making tickets available has been handled in the usual ad-hoc manner. "The BCCI pays no heed or provides reasons for delays," the source said.

That the venues were announced only three months before the event were already a source of frustration for the travelling fan who usually looks for bargains by booking air tickets and accommodation well in advance. The fans looking to travel to India will be left even more frustrated because the tickets are not readily available, especially for an event in India, and you ideally don't want to make travel plans before securing tickets for the matches you wish to attend.

The BCCI, though, doesn't feel it is late. A BCCI official said the dynamics of hosting an event in India were different, and it shouldn't even be compared with the 2011 World Cup, which was co-hosted by three nations. "There is still two months to go," he said, "The first match of the main tournament is on March 15. And it works differently in India anyway. The anticipation in the public only builds up closer to the event, but if the tickets are made available well in advance, those asking for complimentary passes make your life difficult."

Tickets in India generally go up for sale less than a week before international bilaterals or smaller tournaments. A huge chunk of the tickets is anyway not put up for sale with local associations handing them out for free to their members and influential people in their constituencies.

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