No more repeat of Bangalore incident: ICC chief
International Cricket Council chief (ICC) Haroon Lorgat on Saturday condemned the violent clashes between fans and baton-wielding police over the shortage of public tickets for the India's showdown with England.
"Those are scenes that we would not like to see. None of us would like to see that," ICC chief executive Lorgat told a press conference at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Violence had erupted in Bangalore on Thursday after fans were told all 7000 tickets allocated for public sale for the 50,000-seat stadium sold out, sparking accusations by the ICC that its own president Sharad Pawar was guilty of mismanagement in the ticket distribution process.
While ruing that only a fraction of tickets were made available for public sale for Sunday's hotly-anticipated Group B showdown, Lorgat said it would be impossible to meet the demands of fans in a cricket-crazy country with a billion plus population.
"What is unfortunate is that too few go to the public as a general sale," he said.
"No matter what sort of capacity we provide the truths is that we won't have enough seats for the demand that we have on our hands.
"We need to find better ways to distribute tickets but the reality is that if tomorrow's match was at a 100,000 seater we'd still not have enough tickets to go and satisfy the public demands."
Ticket sales for the Feb. 19-April 2 tournament have proven to be a major headache for organisers as only a small quota for the major matches is being sold directly to the public while the rest are distributed among the ICC and clubs affiliated to the local cricket associations.
In a letter leaked to the media on Thursday, the ICC had said Pawar was "threaten(ing) to undermine" the whole tournament with the way tickets were being distributed in India.
On Saturday, Lorgat said that while the ICC's relationship with sponsors was not at 'breaking point' as mentioned in the letter, there were few issues ticket allocations.
"It's a strained issue," he said.
"There is no sponsor who wants to walk away. In fact we've got many that are wanting to come in."