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No free passes this World Cup?

The “complimentary pass” culture is set to take a big hit, thanks to a Kerala High Court order, upheld by Supreme Court, that their distribution needs to be more transparent. Tushar Srivastava reports.

delhi Updated: Feb 13, 2011 01:36 IST
Tushar Srivastava

With just days to go for cricket’s biggest extravaganza to begin, the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) has been caught completely off guard by a googly by the courts.

The “complimentary pass” culture is set to take a big hit, thanks to a Kerala High Court order, upheld by Supreme Court, that their distribution needs to be more transparent.

A probe ordered by the high court into the Kerala Cricket Association’s (KCA) accounts revealed only 29,000 tickets were sold for a particular match, even though the 85,000-capacity stadium was full. The court declared that KCA officials were public servants and could be prosecuted by the vigilance department. The probe also revealed that around 40,000 tickets were sold in the grey market, the complainant said.

The order has become a headache for the DDCA, which is hosting four World Cup matches. A major chunk of the 42,000 tickets are given as free passes. “Government officials and agencies like the police and fire department, whose assistance is important, want free passes,” said a DDCA official.

“We will convene a meeting to discuss the issue,” said Sneh Bansal, general secretary, DDCA.