The diehard cricket fans have been disappointed as few tickets were sold to the general public for the fourth India-Australia one-day international to be played at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday.
Thousands of fans, some from far-off districts, returned disappointed as the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) sold only a few hundred out of nearly 40,000 tickets to the public.
Though the HCA declared that 15,000 tickets would be sold through four branches of the UCO bank, only a few hundred were actually available. The tickets were sold out within two hours of the bank counters opening on Monday, yet nobody was able to confirm the number of tickets sold through these.
The average fans' hopes of watching the clash of two champion teams were hit for a six by HCA authorities, who declined to give any figures about the number of tickets sold to the public.
At the Malakpet branch of the UCO Bank hardly 200 tickets, priced at Rs 250 and Rs 1000, were available. Tickets priced at Rs 2000, Rs 3000, Rs 5000 and Rs 10,000 were not even sold at these counters.
The fans alleged that HCA authorities were selling tickets in the black market to make a quick buck.
"When the stadium has a seating capacity of 40,000, how can they sell only a few hundred tickets? Where are the rest of the tickets? The HCA owes an explanation to people," said Ravinder Reddy, a 12th class student who was waiting in the queue since 7 am but had to return home disappointed.
Member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council Nageshwar Rao too joined the angry fans in voicing his protest over the alleged black marketing of tickets.
"Instead of selling tickets to people, they (HCA) are black-marketing these," said the MLC and demanded a probe into the issue.
The HCA officials have issued 11,000 complimentary passes to VIPs like ministers, legislators, IAS and IPS officers, HCA office-bearers, and former and current Ranji Trophy players.
Though mediapersons also fall in this category, only a few have been issued the passes.
The bulk of the tickets were set aside for corporate houses, which get the stands named after themselves by signing lucrative deals with the HCA.