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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Eden Gardens ticket chaos: Congress stages protest against CAB president Snehasish Ganguly

As per the figures available from the CAB, out of 65,000-odd capacity Eden Gardens only 17,000 tickets were available for sale

PTI Calcutta Published 03.11.23, 09:19 PM
Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens File photo

Cricket Association of Bengal's ticket mismanagement for Sunday's India-South Africa World Cup match took a political twist on Friday as a group of Congress supporters protested outside Eden Gardens demanding answers from CAB president Snehasish Ganguly.

A group of about 100-odd protesters led by South Calcutta District Congress president Pradip Prasad shouted slogans against Ganguly, holding placards and waving Congress flag. "We want answers, how the tickets are being sold in black market. This is not the first time an India match in the World Cup is happening in Calcutta," Prasad told PTI.

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"Never before in history of the Eden Gardens so many life, associate and annual members were deprived of tickets. Yet tickets are available 10 times than their normal price in the black market," he claimed.

As per the figures available from the CAB, out of 65,000-odd capacity Eden Gardens only 17,000 tickets were available for sale.

The rest were reserved for the game's governing body ICC, tournament hosts the BCCI, and local hosts CAB, which also distributes tickets to its 121 affiliated clubs and associations, state associations, tournament sponsors and corporates.

The CAB had notified that 'limited' ticket booking for the India-South Africa November 5 clash for its life, annual and associate members were available online on October 23 between 11am and 8pm. But the site reportedly crashed within hours and had to be reopened the next day with a few lucky ones getting a chance to book their quota. The CAB had made available 3000 tickets.

"When Jagmohan Dalmiya was there, every member got tickets, annual, associate, life. It has not happened before at all," Prasad said.

"But this time, it's available in plenty in black market whereas there is nothing available for the life members who have paid in lakhs for their membership. Each black marketeer has 20-odd tickets. How and from where did they get?," he asked.

He further alleged that the state government has taken a major share of the tickets.

"The state government too has taken some tickets, we want the break-up." But the curious case this time is that the usual black marketeers, who do their business near the Box Office at the Mohammedan Sporting ground, themselves are looking for tickets.

"We are ready to offer you Rs 4000 for a Rs 900 ticket. This time we are also looking for tickets, everything is being sold online," a black marketeer near Mohammedan Sporting claimed.

The sellers have resorted to social media like Facebook to sell tickets with listings starting from Rs 15,000 onwards.

Meanwhile, the Calcutta Police's Detective wing grilled representatives of online portal BookMyShow and also summoned the CAB officials who refused to turn up.

"Our officers spoke to officials of the online portal but there were no representatives from the CAB so we have served another notice to them," said a Calcutta Police official of the Maidan wing.

Earlier on Thursday, former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had stood in support his elder brother Snehasish, saying that the state body has "no role" in the ticket controversy.

"Police can only get hold of the culprit. CAB has no role in this. Eden has a capacity of 67,000 and the demand is for more than one lakh." "It's unfortunate. CAB can't sell tickets. They don't have Box Office once the ticket is out from Eden Gardens, nobody knows where and for what price it is sold," he said.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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