Fans lathicharged outside Chinnaswami Stadium

Bangalore: Chaos reigned outside the Chinnaswami Stadium as police lathicharged thousands of disgruntled fans who had camped outside the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) office to buy tickets for Sunday’s high-voltage World Cup showdown between India and England.

Police were seen hitting fans with sticks as scuffles broke out among those who had been waiting outside the arena since yesterday to buy tickets from the box office.

“Mad rush is expected for any good match. A lot of people desire to watch the match. About 6000 tickets have been sold at the gate,” said KSCA secretary and former India pacer Javagal Srinath. The capacity of the stadium is 45000.

“We are still waiting for tickets to come back from the ICC and BCCI. If they come back, the only way we can give the public is through net, through Kyazoonga, the official ticketing partner for the event,” Srinath said.

He said that it was always difficult to satisfy everyone’s needs ahead of such high-voltage clashes.

“We are trying to cover as much as possible. But for a match of this magnitude, even if you double (the capacity) or triple, it’s not enough.”

The Indian Cricket Board and the KSCA, meanwhile, have said that the capacity of stadiums is limited and the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) demand for tickets have to be accommodated.

“The biggest challenge we are facing now is trying to meet the expectation of people, and that’s not possible. There is a limit till where we can keep people happy. Beyond that unhappy people will always say things which we can’t answer,” Srinath said.

The ICC on Wednesday, in a letter to organising committee chairman, Sharad Pawar, has asked him to sort out the ticketing mess as soon as possible.

The ICC pointed out that with tickets in very short supply, box office sales could turn into a security nightmare.

The ICC has not been given its share of tickets for matches for its international sponsors who are entitled to complimentary tickets.

On Monday, the official online ticketing agency, which had been expected to sell just 1,000 tickets for the final in Mumbai, crashed after 10 million fans tried to log on in just 20 minutes.