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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Sachin's last Ranji match a VIP-studded affair

Sat Singh , Hindustan Times  Lahli, October 28, 2013
First Published: 01:31 IST(28/10/2013) | Last Updated: 11:25 IST(28/10/2013)

Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and cricketers Kapil Dev, VVS Laxman and Chetan Sharma on Sunday visited the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Stadium here to watch the play on the first day of the four-day Ranji Trophy match, made special by the presence of Sachin Tendulkar.

The CM reached the venue at around 11.30am, more than three hours after the match begun, as his helicopter did not get clearance due to bad weather.

A large number of cricket buffs started gathering outside the stadium at around 8am to see Sachin play, but many returned disappointed after they could not get a ticket.

Dinesh Kumar, who came from Gurgaon to see the match, rued that though he had been camping in the town for the past two days to procure a ticket, he could not get one in spite of making several rounds of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials.

Another cricket fan, who had painted the tricolour on his face, also lamented that he could not get tickets in spite of trying various options.

Sources said BCCI officials had opened a single outlet at Vishwakarma School, but it was closed after fans went “berserk”.

Contrary to the organising agency's claims that tickets would be given on the first-come-first-serve basis, the tickets were given only to politicians and well-connected people, while several people who had come from nearby villages and other places were denied tickets, they said.

Sachin disappoints, crowd leaves stadium

As soon as Sachin got bowled out by medium pacer Mohit Sharma on five runs, majority of the crowd left the venue. Farmer Surender Kumar Dangi said he and other farmers of his village had come to see Sachin bat, but there was no point in staying after his wicket fell. Housewife Meena Devi said her two sons were fans of Sachin and wanted to see him, and their wish had been fulfilled.

Resident speak

Only 100 villagers were given tickets. The organising agency did not keep its word about providing tickets on first-come-first-serve basis
Vijay Kumar, resident

We were quite excited about watching Sachin's last Ranji match, but were disappointed when we were not provided tickets in spite of repeated assurances
Vicky, student

The organisers assured me they would give me VIP passes for family and friends, but did not, forcing me to miss Sachin's last Ranji match
Subhash Malhotra, who provided land for the stadium


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