Refund of tickets for the IPL semi-final matches, originally scheduled to be held in Bangalore but now shifted to Navi Mumbai after last Saturday's blasts at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, commenced on Tuesday amid bitter complaints by those who had paid through their noses in the black market.

Several fans, who confessed to have paid scalpers outside the stadium, were simply turned away. “I was told that those who had bought the tickets in black will not get any refund,” said M. Yogesh, a student from Mysore. He and his classmates had bought 15 tickets with a face value of Rs. 750 for Rs. 900 each. “They denied us even the face value of the tickets,” said a glum Yogesh.

Representatives of DNA Networks and Ticketgenie, who were authorised to sell IPL tickets, said they were under instructions not to refund tickets bought in black. “We never sold any tickets across the counter,” said Rakshith K.R., a Ticketgenie representative in charge of the redemption counter.

However, tickets bought from Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) counter were being refunded, he said. “We have refunded tickets worth Rs. 15 lakh today, including those sold online as well as from KSCA,” he said.

Meanwhile, KSCA Assistant Secretary B.K. Ravi said the association had given four tickets to each member. “We are refunding the tickets [without hassles],” he said.

When his attention was drawn to the black market ticket imbroglio, he said all tickets will be refunded according to their face value.

Long queues

Many waited for hours in long queues outside Gate No 9 for refund. Ticket-holders had to specify how they had got their tickets and from which KSCA member. Those who had booked their tickets online had to produce the printouts, while those who received theirs through courier had to produce the receipt of the delivery to get their money back.

Many frustrated fans blamed the inordinate delay on cash being quickly exhausted at the counter. “When my turn came they had run out of cash,” said A. Manohar, w.

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