Mumbai: If you are still cursing your luck for not being able to get a ticket for the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at the 33,000-seater Wankhede Stadium on April 2, here's some more depressing news: 405 tickets went unsold as per information compiled at the Mumbai Cricket Association office in Churchgate.
MiD DAY has learnt that 405 tickets for various stands remained unsold during the India vs Sri Lanka final which the hosts won by six wickets with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni finishing it off with a six.
This unsold business comes as a shocker because of numerous reports of the game being a full house; not to forget the website selling tickets online reportedly crashing soon after booking opened. The demand created a thriving ground for black marketers and some tickets were reportedly sold for Rs 1,50,000 each.
"It is surprising to see that 96 tickets (Rs 1,500 minimum per ticket) of the Sunil Gavaskar Stand (lower bay) which was meant for public, going unsold. Something is fishy here," a source told MiD DAY. The source added that the MCA suffered a loss of nearly Rs 73.5 lakh from the unsold tickets. Nearly Rs 23 crore was accumulated through the sale of tickets.
It can be recalled that the MCA had to give around 8,500 tickets to the International Cricket Council (ICC) as per their contractual obligations. Nearly 20,000 tickets were sold at a subsidised rate to MCA-affiliated clubs. Approximately 4000 tickets were made available for the general public out of which 1000 were sold online and rest through a lottery system by the association.
MCA's joint honorary secretary Dr PV Shetty said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on 405 tickets going unsold since he did not hold the post then and that this issue has not been officially brought to the association's notice. However, he said, "we will look into it once it is formally presented."
Former India batsman Lalchand Rajput, the then MCA joint honorary secretary, said he was unaware of this issue and emphasised that he was not involved in the distribution of tickets after it was alleged that he gave away too many complimentary passes for the SL vs NZ and Canada vs NZ World Cup games earlier in the tournament. "I am not aware of anything like this during the final," said Rajput.
The unsold ticket issue is expected to be raised during the March 31 Managing Committee meeting.
Details of unsold tickets
* Garware Pavilion
-- Donors' section: 3
-- Hospitality section: 12
* MCA Pavilion: 91
* Vithal Divecha Pavilion: 118
* Sunil Gavaskar Stand (upper): 17
* Sunil Gavaskar Stand (lower): 96
* North Stand
-- Marquees: 46
-- Public: 22
Note: The above details do not include the Sachin Tendulkar Stand. All tickets were sold in Vijay Merchant Stand (West Stand)