ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Bangladesh v Pakistan, World Cup warm-up match, Mirpur
Voucher-holders miss warm-up match
Mohammad Isam in Mirpur
February 15, 2011
As the Bangladesh-Pakistan game went on in front of what seemed a healthy crowd for a warm-up game, more ticket-holders were left stranded at the adjoining indoor stadium. A few thousand people with vouchers in hand, bought at local banks and over the internet, waited in queue since early morning on Tuesday to collect their tickets, but while the match was being played out, the ground remained half full.
Kyazoonga, an entertainment and sports ticketing company, is looking after the ticketing process. Apparently it was its insistence on verifying identity cards before issuing tickets that caused the delay. One of its officials present at the ticket booths refused to speak to the media, but the chairman of the Bangladesh Cricket Board's ticket and seating committee, GS Hasan Tamim, termed it an unfortunate incident. "It is their [Kyazoonga's] job to distribute the tickets, but we told them not to check name and other identifications. We told them to just distribute it as the tickets have already been bought," he said.
The real trouble was when the BCB announced that 5,000 tickets are still left unsold on the eve of the match, which meant a large number of people stood in the queue to buy tickets, depriving the voucher-holders of their right.
"I will have to take a look at what happened but it is very unfortunate," Tamim said. It must have been confusing for some to see a few empty stands at the Shere Bangla National Stadium after a huge demand for tickets across the country. At the start of the Bangladesh innings, well into the evening, the count at the ground was 13,088, (later 14,500), and not a full house of 25,000-plus. It also presents the organisers a big challenge for the other big games in the tournament because vouchers have been sold at banks for those matches too.
Mohammad Isam is Senior Sports Reporter, The Daily Star in Dhaka
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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