Don''t want fans to be beaten up but ticket demand heavy: ICC

R Eswar

Bangalore, Feb 26 (PTI) Fans getting beaten up by policein a mad scramble for tickets is not the kind of scenes thatthe ICC wants to see at the World Cup, CEO Haroon Lorgat saidtoday but conceded that the demand has far exceeded supply inthe ongoing event.

"Those are scenes we would not like to see, but it isalso a fact that local authorities know how to handle thesituation," Lorgat told reporters here.

"All tickets, one way or another, find their way to thepublic whether through clubs, boards, the ICC. It isunfortunate that there are only a few number of tickets forthe public," he said.

Lorgat''s statement came in the backdrop of a policelathicharge on fans seeking tickets for the India-Englandclash here tomorrow.

With most of the tickets reserved for sponsors, ICC andoverseas visitors, the local fans have been left to jostle forvery few. Add to this, the online ticket sales have also notgone about smoothly with the website roped in to handle thework crashing down several times because of excessive rush.

The ICC had written to the BCCI asking it to resolve thematter but the Indian Board claimed it was only honouring thecommitments made to the world governing body.

Lorgat said it was regrettable that very few tickets havebeen put on sale for the local fans but admitted that thesupply would never be able to meet the demand in a hugecountry such as India.

"No matter what sort of capacity we provide, the truth isthat we won''t have enough seats for the demand that we have onour hands," he reasoned.

In a lighter vein, Lorgat said the rush for ticketsindicates that one-day cricket is still very popular despitebeing threatened by the Twenty20 storm.

"You have got to accept that this rush for tickets is anindication of how popular this game is. Some while back wetalked about of the demise of 50-over cricket and look what wehave got," he quipped.

Lorgat said the ICC can hardly do anything in thismatter as ticket sales is host country''s domain.

"The ticket sales are in the hands of the host. We settlesub-agreements with them. Some commitments are well inadvance," Lorgat explained.

"It''s a fact that a local host has also got commitmentswhether it is a local organisation, whether it is the clubs orthe BCCI -- all of their associations, the commitments are afacts. It is also true that we simply don''t have enoughtickets for the demand," he said.

Asked why the ICC''s legal department head David Beckerwrote to President Sharad Pawar complaining about theallocation of tickets, Lorgat said the former BCCI chief hasbeen supportive in dealing with issues related to India. MOREPTI RE PM PDS

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