KyaZoonga.com - Mumbai Cricket Association's official ticketing partner - has reported that all the tickets made available to it for Sachin Tendulkar's final Test appearance have been sold. This a day after the website crashed due to traffic with 19.70 million hits in the first hour since sales were opened on Monday.
With scores of fans trying to lay hands on India's second Test vs West Indies - historic because it will be Tendulkar's 200th and final match, the website had crashed on Monday and was slow even by evening. The online traffic was heavy largely due to the fact that tickets for the general public were only available through KyaZoonga.com. Fans who had come to Wankhede to hunt for tickets were left in anguish. Kolhapur's Narayan Dev Gautam was one of the thousands of fans who have traveled to Mumbai to buy a ticket. "I've come from Kolhapur, and I have been waiting since yesterday morning, I haven't had anything to eat so far. We were told the ticket counters here (at Wankhede Stadium) would open at 8:30 am, but nothing of that sort happened. I have come only to watch Sachin, I wanted only two tickets", Narayan told NDTV.
Interestingly, only 6000 tickets were available for general fans - all through the website only. In a stadium which has a capacity of 33,000, MCA had earlier said that it could not increase the number for the public. "Most of the tickets are our commitment tickets. For public sale it can go upto 5,000 tickets. If you count the 1,500 special tickets of Rs 10,000, the overall ticket total will go to 4,500 to 5,000 tickets. It will be season ticket, and not daily tickets. The demand is so high that we want to avoid the rush of people on the day Sachin comes to bat," MCA treasurer Vinod Deshpande had told reporters last week.
Fear of black marketing and ticket-hoarding had also scared officials here. "This is not in my hands. The tickets that we have get distributed. But I can't control the way you use the ticket. We shall definitely ask the Mumbai police to be alert," MCA president Sharad Pawar had said on October 29. (Read full report here)
While fans - apart from the extremely fortunate 6000 who bought their tickets from the online website - will have to catch their hero play his last on television, Tendulkar's family at least won't have to. MCA has given 500 tickets to the Little Master and his coach Ramakant Achrekar and mother are expected to watch him play the November 14-18 Test match from the stands.