No spectator sport this, Nagpur gets the taste now | delhi | Hindustan Times
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No spectator sport this, Nagpur gets the taste now

Nagpur police today resorted to a mild lathi-charge near the Vidarbha Cricket Association ground to control a huge crowd that gathered outside the stadium, hoping to buy tickets for Saturday's India-South Africa World Cup match. Pradip Kumar Maitra reports.

delhi Updated: Mar 09, 2011 00:52 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra

Nagpur police on Tuesday resorted to a mild lathi-charge near the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) ground to control a huge crowd that gathered outside the stadium, hoping to buy tickets for Saturday's India-South Africa World Cup match.

The new VCA stadium at Jamtha has a capacity of 44,000 but only 26,000 tickets are up for the sale.

A large number of crowds, mostly youths, gathered at the old VCA stadium to buy tickets when ticket the sale began on Tuesday morning.

Thousands of cricket fans had queued up since Tuesday early morning to purchase tickets for the Saturday match.

The crowd grew restless and impatient when they realised that everyone would not be able to purchase it because of limited tickets.

The police resorted to a mild lathi charge when there was a chaos in the ticket counters, outside the stadium.

The police had also to resort to lathi charge several times to control the crowd.

However, no one was injured, claims Sanjay Pande, the police inspector of Sadar.

“There could have been a stampede if police failed to disperse the mob by resorting to a mild lathi charge,” justified Pande.

“I went at the stadium at 6.00pm to buy a ticket. Now I got upset to see the situation at the ticket counter. I am not sure that whether I would be able to get a ticket,” said Rohan Patil, an engineering student of the city, who queued up for a ticket since this morning.

According to reports, the counter was closed temporarily after the incident.

However, the counter was re-opened within an hour. There was a heavy police bandobast outside the VCA to control the huge crowd there.

No VCA officials were available for comments.

In a similar incident, police in Bangalore clashed with fans on Feb 24 who swarmed to buy tickets in Bangalore's Chinnaswamy ground.

Violence had erupted after fans were told all 7000 tickets allocated for public sale for the 50,000-seat stadium sold out, sparking accusations by the International Cricket Council chief (ICC) that its own president Sharad Pawar was guilty of mismanagement in the ticket distribution process.

ICC Haroon Lorgat had condemned the violent clashes between fans and baton-wielding police over the shortage of public tickets for India's showdown with England.

"Those are scenes that we would not like to see. None of us would like to see that," he said.

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