Champions Trophy, 2006 September 19, 2006

BCCI start online ticket sales

Lalit Modi: 'The initial buyers were mostly from overseas - America, the United Kingdom and even some from Australia' © Getty Images
For the first time in its colourful history the Board of Control for Cricket in India is selling tickets online. Fans wishing to go to any match in the Champions Trophy - at Mumbai, Mohali, Jaipur or Ahmedabad - can now log on to, take a tour of the seating arrangements and pick the seats they want and pay by credit card.

The limit per card is four tickets and only visa card holders can buy tickets online. Visa, which is a one of the sponsors of the Champions Trophy, has exclusivity on online ticketing for the first 15 days.

The sale of tickets online began at approximately 8pm on Tuesday evening and within an hour huge numbers had been snapped up. "Rupees one lakh worth of tickets were sold, and that too without an advertisement or an announcement that the sales were live," Lalit Modi, vice-president of the BCCI, told Cricinfo. "The initial buyers were mostly from overseas - America, the United Kingdom and even some from Australia," he added.

At present the only tickets you cannot buy online are the discounted student tickets and the president's box. The student tickets require verification of an identification card from an educational institution and will be available at the venues. The tickets to the president's box have been set aside for the ICC, its guests, and sponsors.

To avoid a situation like the one Cricket Australia experienced over sales of the Ashes tickets where a large section of tickets got sold very quickly, servers crashed and disgruntled fans were left empty handed just hours after sales began, the BCCI has decided to stagger the sales of tickets. Initially about 10000 tickets of varying denominations will be available for each ground, and at a later date a further such lot will come up for sale.

The back-end for the sales of the tickets is being handled by Ticketmaster, a company that has worked with the ICC in the past. "A team of people from Ticketmaster have been in India over the last two weeks working on the integration of their site and ours. Now that is complete," said Modi. DHL and Blue Dart are the companies involved in the delivery of the tickets, and the BCCI suggested that orders placed now will be delivered from September 22 onwards.

Modi was confident that the sales of tickets would yield substantial revenues, and was especially pleased with how things had gone at Jaipur, where he is the president of the state cricket association - Rajasthan. "We've already registered sales worth Rupees eight crore," he said. "The three key areas that needed work were bathrooms, catering, and where applicable air-conditioning. We've spent a considerable amount of money on ensuring that the stadium at Jaipur is world class in these aspects. Since the last game we've spent about Rs. 25 crore on infrastructure."

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo