ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

World Cup 2011

Fans left without tickets as website crashes

Sharda Ugra

February 21, 2011

Comments: 80 | Text size: A | A

A Sri Lankan fan shows his World Cup ticket, Colombo, February 7, 2011
World Cup tickets are becoming a rare commodity © AFP

If ever a URL contained an entire saga in its few words, it had to be the one that thousands of World Cup ticket buyers found themselves facing on Monday: http://www.icccwc2011.kyazoonga.com/Tickets/ Error/. The ICC World Cup 2011 is currently defined not by its month-long group matches, the presence of the game's much-abused fringe element, the Associates, or its extremely malleable home advantage quarter-final round, but instead by its ticketing errors.

The ICC is understood to be working with the host boards - which are responsible for ticketing - on resolving the issue. The options include taking the tickets off sale and instead distribute them through lots. The hosting agreement gives the hosts the responsibility for distribution, stamping and printing of gate tickets and hospitality tickets; it also says the hosts "will exercise strict control to conduct efficient orderly production and distribution and hospitality".

The most prominent errors took place on Monday afternoon when the servers of Kyazoonga.com, the ICC's official ticketing partners, were overwhelmed with the load as the site went 'live' with sales for the final and semi-finals at 1pm India time. The website received close to ten million hits in a matter of minutes - half a million at any given moment - many of those people refreshing the site. It would have needed, a Kyazoonga staffer said, a server farm the "size of a football field" to keep up with that kind of demand. The site crashed by 1.05pm and the few people who had got into the system and begun purchasing their tickets found their plans hanging somewhere in cyberspace.

The website went online again around 9.30pm IST with a statement that no tickets for the finals & semi-finals had been sold on Monday due to the system issues and that updates about the ticket sales would follow. So, all the tickets allocated for online sales will still be available once the Kyazoonga network teams in India, Europe and the United States get their servers up and running again. Kyazoonga were not willing to reveal an approximate time when that was expected to happen.

A Kyazoonga spokesperson said while the surge in traffic had been expected, the site had not anticipated its scale. When ticket sales for World Cup group matches first went live on June 1, 2010, there had been no issues over server capacity. The firm had expected the demand to be several times over for the knockout games, "maybe five to ten times over but not 100." There were even people knocking at the door of the Kyazoonga offices in New Delhi asking to purchase World Cup final tickets.

What has also infuriated World Cup fans - whose angry comments on ESPNcricinfo hit the newswires all day - is not merely the fact that it has been impossible to buy tickets for the final online, but that there are so few tickets available to the general public at a venue with a very small capacity by Indian standards. The 33,000-seater Wankhede Stadium is one of the two smallest Indian grounds hosting World Cup matches. Only Mohali with a capacity of 27,500 is smaller. The rest are as follows: Eden Gardens - 63,000, Motera - 54,000, Chepauk - 45,000, Ferozshah Kotla - 42,000, Nagpur - 45,000, Chinnaswamy - 37,000. Among the 33,000 seats in the Wankhede, only 4000 are for sale to the public - the rest will be distributed to the ICC and the Mumbai Cricket Association's member clubs - which is a disproportionately small number for the biggest event in world cricket. All previous finals have been held at larger venues except for the 2007 final in Bridgetown and the first three editions. Those were played at Lord's, which at the time had a capacity of 28,000, but the number of tickets made available to the public was still somewhere around 14,000.

The ticket pricing at the Wankhede, according to the ICC's official ticket guide, is the most expensive across the World Cup. The price-range for the first match at the Wankhede on March 13, New Zealand v Canada, is between Rs 2500 to Rs 3750. The March 18 match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka ranges from Rs 5000 to Rs 7500. The World Cup finals tickets are priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000.

The other issue surrounding tickets that has affected grounds in India is that ticket sales are heavily dependent on the host team's presence in any match. India are hosting most of the neutral games while co-hosts Bangladesh are staging only the six group matches featuring their own team and two quarter-finals, and Sri Lanka are hosting 13 matches, five featuring the home team, six as stand-in hosts for Pakistan, and one quarter-final and a semi-final.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Sharda Ugra


Comments: 80 
. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 24, 2011, 10:14 GMT)

@Deen Sheikh: Its simple marketing strategies. Price is proportionate to the demand and the supply.

Where as, supply can be maximum of doubled or tippled depending on the ground but the demand is sooo huge in INDIA which has almost negligible impact on the the price fixing. Needless to say, people in India are willing to pay x2 - x100 than its original price, especially in Mumbai

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 24, 2011, 8:43 GMT)

I personally think the ICC should re think their strategy when it comes to their attitudes towards the BCCI and its members, who courtesy of all the money coming in, have become greedy and dont think with their heads. Same goes for the ICC, cause the BCCI is contributing more than half their revenue's single handedly so their letting Indian board do whatever they want, without properly regulating them. And why does no1 talk about the fact that ICC president is also president of the Mumbai Cricket Association, doesnt that kinda create a conflict of Interest? Im sure Sharad pawar had some role to play in the Final being played in Mumbai as opposed to Eden Gardens or Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. and Yes Tickets are Dirt cheap for Games in Sri Lanka, while Very Pricey in India, I dont get that, LOL.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 24, 2011, 7:24 GMT)

Almost every one who is trying to buy tickets disparately has put lot of load on the server which is expected.

I hope the site admins have already checked the log to find if any one has crashed the server purposefully, using tools or scripts.

Anyway, I prefer watching the match in TV unless someone buy me (V)VIP tickets :)

Posted by Shavantha on (February 24, 2011, 1:10 GMT)

This proves the point that all web sites going for commercial use should be tested for how well it handles the concurrent load

Posted by Varun on (February 23, 2011, 17:15 GMT)

Sharda Ugra needs to realize that when a website has "ten million hits in a matter of minutes - half a million at any given moment", no server is going to be able bear that load. Especially, for ticket sales, for one single event no company is going to invest in "a server farm the "size of a football field"". It is unfair to the company to expect them to handle that load. Cribbing about a minor inconvenience and taking pot-shots at the ICC after the 2007 fiasco has become a past-time.

Posted by Eric on (February 23, 2011, 9:31 GMT)

Well, another World Cup, another fiasco, with the almighty dollar reigning supreme. Even Australia has sold it's soul to this god. Second thing - Shame, Shame, Ponting. Your latest outburst another reason you are not fit to be Aussie Captain, couldn't set the table for afternoon tea, let alone a proper field, particularly for spin bowlers.

Posted by imran on (February 23, 2011, 7:27 GMT)

The ICC top officials has to be banned for 10 years, and they should be kept away from near any cricketing activity during that time. ICC anti corruption team to see why ICC top officials have fail to ensure the dirtribution of tickets.

Posted by Rex on (February 23, 2011, 7:23 GMT)

India couldn't organize a booze up in a brewery. Only they believe they are a modern efficient effective nation and the joke's on them. Except when it comes to manipulating International Cricket to their own ends. Then they are the World Champions!b

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 23, 2011, 6:20 GMT)

4,000 tickets for public and 29,000 for the administrative staff.And this is a country of 1200 million.And cricket is said to be a religion here.And this is a democratic country,where public holds the power.And cricket board is showing all forms of dictatorship.Can we do something against it.Can we appeal against the board.We will stand against the mighty board who gets the money because we watch cricket on t.v.They are respected because we watch cricket.India's board does whatever it likes to do.But we can not do anything.

Posted by Sam on (February 23, 2011, 4:24 GMT)

XooX's comments misses a big point. Corporates make the event possible does not mean anything. Corporations are not a charity. They sponsor these events not because they are charitable but because of marketing/advertising. The marketing/advertising rupees/dollars are incorporated into the price of the products and services that are sold by them. Thus, eventually, this money comes mostly from the pockets of ordinary cricket fans who buy the products and services.

Email Feedback Print
Sharda UgraClose
News | Features Last 3 days
  • No stories yet
News | Features Last 3 days
  • No stories yet

World Cup Videos