Sunday, June 23, 2024

Anguish as fans denied tickets

Thousands of fans were left disheartened as they could not buy tickets for the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 from the booths at designated Agrani Bank and NCC Bank branches as ticket sales began countrywide on Sunday. NCC Bank and Agrani Bank, designated to sell tickets for the ICC mega-event from 44 and 49 booths respectively, declined to sell more than 50 tickets per booth on the first day. Online ticket-purchasing was also opened simultaneously.
The meagre number of tickets for the global T20 event – scheduled to begin on March 16 and featuring men’s and women’s matches at three venues across the country – added to the misery of many fans who had spent long periods of time waiting in line.
Naveed Rahman of Dhaka University complained that the authority only provided tickets to 50 people and did not maintain the queue in order to give privileges to the supporters of the government.
‘It is really unfortunate not to buy the ticket despite waiting from last Friday night,’ Naveed told New Age as he left a booth at Banani.
‘The bank officials seemed to please the people of Chhatra League as they literally agreed to provide the tickets to them after being threatened,’ he added.
The price for group-stage tickets ranges from Tk 50 to Tk 2,000 each, while the cost of tickets for the semi-finals will be Tk 100 to Tk 3,000.
The ticket for the finals will start at Tk 200, going up to Tk 4,000.
Zahid Ahmed, a private entrepreneur from Mirpur reacted sharply when informed that the public would only get the chance to buy half the tickets to the tournament.
‘I don’t think public can buy very many tickets as it is consumed by the top-heavy of the society,’ said Zahid.
‘I had been in this situation earlier so I am not shocked, as it was only a chance that was taken by me,’ he said.
The emphasis on online-ticketing is also a barrier to many fans, as online payments must be made with credit cards and the website – – is in English only.
Local organising committee host director Tanveer Ahmed was not available for comment regarding the ticket issue as his mother passed away recently, while his assistant Abdullah al Mamun said that they were reluctant to sell a huge number of tickets through the booths as they were trying to encourage online sales.
‘There are simultaneous online sales of the World Twenty20 tickets. That was still open even after the booth was closed and we are trying to encourage it,’ said Mamun.
‘Apart from that, on the opening day the banks opted to provide only 50 to 70 tickets to the fans because of security reasons,’ said Mamun.
‘They did not want to take unnecessary pressure by trying to disburse a lot of tickets on the opening day as they wanted to see how things go with this amount of sale,’ he said.
However, Mamun could not disclose just how many tickets would be actually available to the public for the matches to be held at the 25,000-seat Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, the 18,000-capacity Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong and the under-construction Sylhet Stadium, which will be completed soon.
‘At least 50 percent of the tickets will be available for the public, though I cannot disclose to you the exact figure without getting the data from the banks,’ said Mamun.

-With New Age input

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