The ICC has begun the sale of tickets for the upcoming ICC World T20 in India on its website, with less than two weeks for the event to begin.
The first phase of the sale, which went live on February 25, made tickets available for matches in Bangalore, Chennai, Dharamsala, Kolkata and Mohali, but excluded the matches featuring India, the semi-finals and the final of the men’s and women’s events. According to a BCCI release, the second phase of the sale - for matches in Mumbai, Delhi and Nagpur - will be announced soon.
The statement stated that the tickets for seven ‘highly sought after’ matches - four India games, the semi-finals and the final - will be sold online through a lottery system, where buyers need to indicate their preferred match after registering themselves. They will then be moved to a draw where the winners will be chosen through an automated process following which they will receive a payment link to complete the booking.
The window to register for the lottery will be open only for seven days from February 25. Only two tickets can be purchased per person for India matches, the semi-finals and the final, while for other games a maximum of six tickets per person is allowed.
A member of the organising committee told ESPNcricinfo that the schedule for the sale of tickets over-the-counter for all matches - including India’s and the knockouts - would be announced by the respective hosting centres. He said the lottery system was to streamline the high demand for tickets.
“We had to do lottery system, otherwise when a traditional ticket counter opens up, some 20,000 people queue up,” the official said. “The first 10,000 get tickets and then there is a lathi charge. We have to move away from that culture.
“If you put tickets online on first-come-first-serve basis, there will be some 10,000 people who click at 12. After 12:05 pm, the entire system becomes redundant. The traffic for these high-priority games is huge, so everyone must get a fair opportunity.”
While ticket sales for previous World T20s had commenced three to six months ahead of the event, the current edition has had a number of delays. The ICC had earlier refused to be drawn into any criticism of the ticketing process, stating it would be “inappropriate” to make comparisons. The organising committee member attributed the delay to a combination of factors, including the uncertainty over the status of Delhi as a venue.
“The schedule was launched only on December 19 (sic December 11), and only after that our work starts,” he said. “We have to start pricing separately for women’s games, men’s games, the semi-finals and final. Once the ticketing agency is finalised you will have to do backend mapping. Delhi has obviously been a contributing factor for the delay. Till 10 days ago I didn’t know if I had to push those games to some other venue.”