The Corporate World Cup  

Posted by Praveen in , ,

Cricket fans getting lathicharged near Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore as they wait for non-existent tickets!

This monday was a day of anticipation. On the previous day, I had recieved the notification from kyazoonga, the online ticketing agency, about the release of the tickets of the cricket world cup final. Only 4000 tickets were to be sold to the public, out of which only 1000 will come online. The tickets were to be available on the site from 1 PM on monday. A server down message greeted us at the site at 1 PM. Frantic calls to friends followed for one hour. And atlast, the site becomes active. I was jumping up with joy as the ticket booking page with the stadium seating arrangements loaded slowly on my screen. And then I hovered the mouse over one of the stands and it flashes "Rs.12500". For a moment, I thought I might be seeing zeroes when there are none. Then as it sunk in, I consoled myself with the thought that this might be one of those expensive stands. Mouse over next stand flashes "Rs.18750". And rest of the stands tickets were frozen. Yes, these are the rates of the tickets meant for the general public. Am I the only one smelling a scam here?

The scam doesn't start with the ticket prices. It started with the renovation of the stadiums. Most stadiums where renovation happened, has ended up with lesser seating capacities. The Wankhede stadium where the finals are to happen has ended up with a capacity of 33,000 from the original 40,000. And, why are the finals happening in such a small stadium when we have much bigger ones all around(Eden gardens??). If the 'Mumbai lobby' really wanted the final to be in Mumbai, why not the D Y Patil stadium with a capacity of 60,000? And, of the 33,000 available seats, 20,000 tickets are reserved for the Mumbai Cricket Association. Special passes are a necessity, but its no more special when more than 50% goes to politicians, bureaucrats, officials, their second wife's third husband's neighbour and so on. And many of these special passes later appear in the black market at exhorbitant rates. Cricket in India is certainly in the hands of businessmen.

When the India-England match was shifted from Eden gardens, it brought happiness as well as a tinge of sadness. Sadness for the mecca of Indian cricket losing a game. And happiness for the match coming to my backyard in Bangalore. We decided to queue up for the tickets that were to be sold from 8 AM today. The plan was to go there around 4 AM and queue up. But then, something told me that it won't work out as expected. In the end, we decided against it. Thankfully, that decision saved us from a lathicharge and a useless wait in the queue. Some of my friends who went at 11 30 PM ended up coming home empty handed and someone even had a bonus in the form of a bandage. In Bangalore, the public was to get just 8000 tickets. From what happened today, it seems only around 2000 were sold. The counter opened and closed before anyone knew about it. Those who walked back dejectedly included people who came from nearby districts taking leave from their meagre paying jobs, just because they love this game.

Its a scam of the highest kind where our cricketing bodies are hand in glove with black marketeers. The arrival of the IPL changed the way cricket functions. The IPL auctions are one of the ugliest things to have happened to this game. And it hit depths when legends like Ganguly, Dravid and Kumble were not bid by anyone in the auctions. It pains even more to see that these decisions are taken by such petty creatures like shahrukh khan and shilpa shetty. Cricket's no longer in the hearts of those millions of common men who paint their faces, wave the flags and cheer loudly from the stands all day long. Its in the hands of a privileged few in Armani suits, who has eaten up this beautiful game with their financial clout. There's an old saying in Malayalam, "Panathinu meethe parunthum parakkilla"(Not an eagle will fly over money). It seems some rich vultures are indeed flying over our lovely game.

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at Thursday, February 24, 2011 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

11 comments

You said the truth, nice writing Praveen !

9:03 PM

Another Scam..Everytime I want to like that game again,another scam comes in..Well written..Good thing you did not got to the stadium..

12:45 PM

Corporitization of a game is pretty much ok, provided the interests of players, fans and the businessmen are met. But cricket in India has now been taken over by a vulture called BCCI and a few Corporate houses who've started to infiltrate and rot the ethics and beauty of the game. This is probably the first instance where people who have original love and passion for the game, the fans, are manhandled by the very sports body they helped to grow. Felt sad seeing the images on TV.

Like erstwhile Modi, the parasites in BCCI like Sreenivasan, Pawar (he ruined ICC too!!) and the likes have to be kicked out and those who love the game need to take over. Like this ICC World Cup has already liquidized whatever pride we had as a nation, after Suresh Kalamaadan gulped down most of it. What a situation man Praveen!!??

7:22 PM

horrified!!
I have never read about this from a guy who tried to book d ticket
The media doesnt point this cos they get theirs for free

These babus maligned CWG. i thought since they were so good in cricket they would do it good!

7:38 PM

OMG!! Never knew things were so bad at this massive a scale...

And then they say it is a game that reaches out to millions...
yea atleast on television sets, I reckon! :-/

4:05 PM

nice pic
do not watch

12:39 AM

Oh..oh..
And that only for a ticket
for cricket..... ;)

2:00 AM

You have a nice blog, with some cerebral posts...When crores of unaccounted money pours in the sport becomes a stooge for the rich and powerful...

6:33 PM

whoa really tat bad eh?? :( Atleast now im not feelin tat bad abt missing live games ...

11:20 PM

@anil
thanks man!

@blue lotus
but after watching yday's match, I really am sad at not going :(

@scorpiogenius
seriously, whats this rich body doing with all the money?? expected BCCI to put up a display of all its money power...but this!

@Jon
yes...media gets passes:P

@ashwathy
now its a game to make millions :D

@anya
yea...only for a ticket:D

@alka
thanks a lot for dropping in...do come back :)

@vinay
yea...at its worst

2:04 AM

Its always better to watch games at home.... I have seen few games out at stadiums but only high profilers are given warm welcome...

2:12 PM

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