Cricket Australia has cancelled 1300 Ashes tickets after an investigation into internet auction sales.
James Sutherland, the CA chief executive, told reporters in Melbourne that people risked being turned away from match venues if they turned up with tickets bought off the web. "Where people purchase tickets from a scalper at a premium, they're in breach of the terms and conditions," he said. "We will, where appropriate, cancel those tickets."
Sutherland also took a swipe at online auction company eBay. "I'm disappointed. We had a number of discussions before tickets went on sale with eBay, unfortunately they have come to nothing. The position that we've taken all along with them is that they shouldn't be assisting people to sell tickets in breach of our terms and conditions. What we're trying to do is protect the Australian public here."
But an eBay spokesman told The Age that CA was also to blame. "Cricket Australia dumped hundreds of thousands of tickets in one day using computer and telephone systems that couldn't keep up with demand," he said, adding that eBay had requested details of the cancelled tickets so it could offer any affected customers compensation. He pointed out that CA had not done this.
Sutherland went on to say that more tickets would in all likelihood be cancelled as the series neared. "We've still got an investigation agency out there that's doing various checks and I would imagine that over the next few months that there will be more that are uncovered."
Demand for tickets has been unprecedented and the board was slammed for the way it handled sales on the first day they went on general release.
The tickets were only made available to Australian residents but thousands of English supporters used contacts in Australia to bypass the system.