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ICC World Cup 2023

Social media ‘marketplace’ for Sunday’s Eden match tickets

One seller said he would sell two Club House tickets for Rs 16,000, price was negotiated down to Rs 12,500

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 02.11.23, 05:33 AM
Screenshots of social media posts offering tickets for World Cup matches. Metro has blocked the names and numbers

Screenshots of social media posts offering tickets for World Cup matches. Metro has blocked the names and numbers

Tickets for the high-voltage World Cup clash between India and South Africa at the Eden Gardens on Sunday are selling on social media, or so claim advertisements complete with phone numbers and other contact details.

The Telegraph posed as a buyer and called two of those numbers to find out what was on offer.

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The man who answered one of the calls hung up.

The other said he would sell two Club House tickets for Rs 16,000. The price was negotiated down to Rs 12,500.

The money was asked to be transferred online to the Google Pay account attached to another mobile number and the tickets were to be collected from “an office” near gate No. 2 of the stadium.

In reality, Club House tickets are not for sale.

This newspaper contacted a person whose display name was “Rahul B” on Facebook and claimed to be in possession of tickets for many World Cup matches.

“My name is Amit Jain. I have an office at Satyam Bhavan near gate No. 2 of the Eden Gardens. You will have to make an advance payment for booking tickets,” the man said in Hindi.

He shared a mobile number for transferring the money to the Google Pay account attached to it.

“I can provide any ticket, starting from Rs 1,500. You please tell me your budget,” he said.

When this newspaper asked for Club House tickets, the man asked for Rs 16,000 for two tickets. He said he had purchased the two Club House tickets for Rs 7,500 each and wanted to keep a “small margin”.

“These are genuine tickets. I have procured them through genuine means which I can’t tell you about,” he said when asked about the source of the tickets.

This newspaper found several others on social media who shared their contact details and claimed to be selling match tickets.

The BCCI has been selling tickets through the online portal bookmyshow.com. However, many Kolkatans complained that they either found the tickets for the Sunday match “sold out” or were asked to “wait in the queue”.

“My friend and I tried to book tickets through bookmyshow.com. But when we could not book there, we found a contact through a Facebook group named ‘ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Tickets’,” said S. Banerjee, a bank official who lives in Bijoygarh.

The group that has “36.7K” members describes itself as: “This group has been created to bring together buyers and sellers of Cricket WC 2023 Tickets globally....”

Banerjee said he has paid Rs 94,000 for 42 tickets for his friends, colleagues and family, but was yet to get the tickets till Wednesday evening. “I will lodge a police complaint if the man fails to deliver the tickets,” he said.

The police on Wednesday said they had yet to receive any formal complaint of cheating. “We are requesting everyone not to fall into this trap. One must buy tickets only through legal means,” said an officer in the detective department at Lalbazar.

But accessing tickets through legitimate means has been tough during this World Cup, The Telegraph reported on October 15.

In the absence of any police complaint, it may be presumed that at least some of the self-proclaimed sellers are selling genuine tickets, raising the question how they managed to procure tickets when they are unavailable online.

It is difficult to tell from the official ticketing site whether a match is sold out or not, many have complained.

The police said they are starting suo motu cases if someone is caught selling tickets illegally.

On Wednesday, a team of the anti-rowdy squad of the detective department arrested Gunjan Chatterjee, 24, from the Maidan while he was allegedly selling a ticket for the Sunday match priced Rs 900 for Rs 4,000. The police said Chatterjee was in possession of 16 tickets for the Sunday match.

“An inquiry revealed he bought the tickets online from two persons who may be living in Mumbai,” said an officer.

Last updated on 02.11.23, 10:01 AM
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