KARNATAKA

Price is no problem for these cricket enthusiasts in Bangalore

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: For cricket enthusiasts paying Rs. 1,500 or Rs. 18,000 for tickets that actually cost Rs. 200 and Rs. 6,000 respectively did not seem too much on Saturday. So, they waited near the M. Chinnaswamy stadium looking for that person who could sell them the ticket. The deal struck, they quickly stood in the long queues leading into the stadium.

"Nothing is more fun than watching the cricket match in the stadium," said Rahul Bose, who came all the way from Kolkata on Saturday to watch the match.

"I just took a chance. I came here (stadium) around 8 a.m. After three hours I found a person who sold a ticket to me," he said. Mr. Bose was among the many who paid Rs. 1,500 for a Rs. 200 ticket.

Some return disappointed

Not everyone was willing to shell out so much of money. Many, including two persons from Scotland, returned disappointed.

"My friend and I came here today to try and get the tickets. When I asked a few people they quoted a price that I found too much," said Kevin, the Scotsman, who has come to the city to learn Yoga.

For Veerana Gouda and his three friends the journey from Hunnur in Bagalkot district to the city did not pay dividends.

"A few of my friends in Bangalore promised me tickets. But on arrival here in the morning what I heard from them made me feel disappointed," he said.

He also termed the price quoted by people selling the tickets outside the stadium as too high. "We cannot pay that much," he said.

Police blamed

Tickets were being sold at such a high price from under the very nose of the policemen. The Rs. 200 tickets were being sold at BRV Parade grounds. The high priced tickets were being sold on the pavement of Queen's Road.

The sellers of such tickets were in great demand. Those who paid the quoted price quickly got the tickets.

However, the police caught a few people selling such tickets and also those who purchased them.

There was the usual excitement among people coming to witness the cricket match. People had their faces painted in the Indian tricolour. Some had come to the stadium to cheer the Indian team wearing the traditional Mysore "peta."

Cheer group

"We will win today," said the leader of a 20-member cheer group from New Delhi. Wearing a yellow T-shirt of a company the group entered the VIP stand with drums and bugles. Contrary to the police announcement people were allowed to enter the stadium with mobile phones.