Panaji, Oct 29 (IANS) The India-Australia one-day cricket match in Goa that was called off has nevertheless attracted controversy over allegations of tickets having been duplicated.
Washed out due to improper ground conditions following unseasonal rains, organizers of the Oct 24 ODI are now facing criticism, after a local TV news channel claimed Thursday that several duplicate tickets were sold for the ODI match, which was scheduled to be held at the Fatorda stadium, 40 km from here.
A Goa Cricket Association (GCA) official told IANS that they were conducting a probe into the affair and had summoned the proprietor of a Pune-based printing firm, who had been awarded the contract of printing the 25,000-plus tickets.
Goa 365, a local cable news channel has claimed that several sets of duplicate tickets were printed, claiming to have two of such. The news channel on its bulletin aired late Thursday also said:
‘In one set, a south upper stand ticket with serial number 09173 costing Rs.2,500 shows F-0028 as a designated seat and a south upper stand complimentary pass with serial number 32663 with the exact same seat number F-0028. The other set is also a combo of south upper stand complimentary pass and ticket. The pass bearing serial number 32639 with F-0004 as the designated seat and a ticket costing Rs.2,500 with 09149 as the serial number, also showing F-0004 as the designated seat.’
The two duplicated combo sets raise questions as to whether there were more duplicate tickets in circulation for this ODI too.
During another ODI in 2001, also between India and Australia, another duplicate ticket scam had surfaced. Dubbed as ‘Ticketgate’ in the local media, the police had subsequently booked and chargesheeted former deputy chief minister and Goa Cricket Association president Dayanand Narvekar in connection with the case.
GCA secretary Prasad Fatarpekar admitted to the discrepancy in the tickets and the passes, but denied there was ticket duplication.
‘Please do not call it duplication. It is a serious thing. It may be a printing error. We have called the printer. We have sought an explanation from him… This is disturbing us a lot. It may be an error with the printer. He is going to be penalized if he has made a mistake. We have not paid him fully yet,’ the official told IANS.
‘The ground was full to capacity. A total 22,536 people had entered out of which 14,320 had passes,’ Fatarpekar said.
‘If someone has played mischief, then he will not be spared,’ he added.