The spiralling demand for tickets and the chaos at the counters proved to be a recurring theme while the International Cricket Council CEO Haroon Lorgat spoke to the press here on Saturday afternoon.
“The rush for World Cup tickets is an indication of the game's popularity. Sometime back we were talking about the demise of the 50-over cricket and look what we have got. If tomorrow we have 1,00,000 seats, we still won't have enough tickets to satisfy the public demand,” Lorgat said and added that the images of what transpired outside the Chinnaswamy Stadium counters on Thursday were unfortunate.
Lorgat however said that the public does get its share of tickets through various avenues. “The ticket allocations find their way to the public. What is unfortunate is that a lesser number goes to the public in a general sale over the counter. Whether the tickets go to the club or the ICC channel, it eventually reaches the public. Some commitments to our sponsors are made in advance and it's a fact of life. It's a fact that a local host will also have prior commitments, be it for the clubs or the BCCI,” Lorgat said.
The ICC CEO also played down the letter written by a colleague David Becker to the institution's president Sharad Pawar, who is also the chairman of the World Cup Organising Committee. Becker had pointed out the faults in the disbursement of tickets. “We write to our president often to assist us in areas in which we are having difficulties. It is also true that in the past, the office of Mr. Pawar has been very supportive and I am sure in this particular incident as well, we will get the same support,” Lorgat said.
Lorgat said that the ICC is launching a ballot system to allocate tickets for the semifinals and final.
“It is a much fairer way and it will avoid the physical risks and I am confident that it will be a much better system to release tickets,” he said.
Lorgat also clarified that the Wankhede Stadium, that will host the final on April 2, is well prepared and that the grievances at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium have also been resolved.
He also ruled out conspiracy-theories behind the ICC's initial adverse remarks about the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.