A long queue of cricket fans outside the IPL ticket counter at the international stadium in Dhurwa, Ranchi, on Wednesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
A big bunch of T20 fans returned home disappointed on Day One of the offline IPL ticket sales in Ranchi and Jamshedpur, thanks to poor co-ordination between the so-called convenience kiosks and the ticketing agent on Wednesday morning.
In contrast, cricket buffs who took the pain to go all the way to the international stadium in Dhurwa instead of dropping by at one of these ticket windows near home were amply rewarded.
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) management had on Tuesday promised availability of tickets priced between Rs 700 and Rs 9,000 at 13 places in the capital — including Café Coffee Day and The Mobile Store outlets, cinemas, a multiplex and a footwear showroom — and three outlets in the steel city.
The sales were to begin from 10am, but till 5pm, most of these stores — except Reebok on Ratu Road — had not received their quota of tickets from Ticketgenie, the agency handling the business.
“I went to CCD on Main Road around noon, but were told that IPL tickets were not in yet. They asked me to check late in the evening,” said college student Shruti Singh.
Vikram Sharma, who decided to buy his IPL pass from Plaza Cinema, too was left sulking. “We read in your paper about IPL tickets at select outlets. We were here for a movie and thought of bagging a few Rs 700 tickets. But, they have not yet begun selling,” the bank executive said at 11am.
An executive at Plaza Cinema said they were expecting the tickets to arrive by 7pm. “There were hitches today. Hopefully, things will get streamlined from tomorrow (Thursday),” he said.
Manager of Eylex, Jamshedpur, Sujit Kumar said tickets of two denominations — Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500 — were expected on Wednesday morning, but now they would only arrive on Thursday afternoon.
JSCA officials, on the other hand, sounded completely clueless about the ticket business elsewhere since the lone counter at Dhurwa stadium was open and running since morning and saw more than 1,000 eager buyers.
“We checked for ticket status at various outlets, but they haven’t compiled any list yet. We heard there were some problems,” said Manoj Kumar, the media officer of JSCA.
Rajesh Kumar, a senior functionary of Ticketgenie, however, claimed all was well. “The response was good at the stadium as well as at the retail centres,” he said.
When pointed out that at least a dozen outlets in Ranchi and none in Jamshedpur got tickets in the morning, he briefly added: “I have to check with them then.”
Kumar was also reluctant to reveal the exact number of tickets sold, saying roughly 50 per cent had been booked in the offline quota.
“For instance, there are 2,000 seats for Rs 700. Of these, half have been put up for online sale and half for offline through the stadium counter and outlets. It is difficult to say exactly how many have been sold till we get reports from all places. But, most tickets of lower denominations are more or less sold,” he claimed.