Only 10,000 free passes for World Cup matches at Delhi

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) to issue only 10,000 complimentary passes for each of the four World Cup cricket matches to be played at the 41,000-seat Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.

Justice Sunil Gaur said: “DDCA should not issue more than 10,000 complimentary passes in each of the matches been played on different dates in Delhi.

“Remaining passes for tomorrow’s (Thursday) match should be made online by evening for general public who want to book it,” said the court.

The court was hearing a case filed by Jai Karan Singh, one of DDCA’s oldest members, who had challenged the arbitrary ways of the association’s executive committee in issuing complimentary tickets and sought a ceiling on it.

“A total of 3,000 passes should be kept at the stadium gate so that match viewers can buy from there on the day of match also,” said Gaur, adding that in future, DDCA should sell 30,000 tickets online and at general outlets throughout Delhi.

“Five thousand tickets should be sent to various banks in Delhi so that the cricket lovers can get them from there also,” Gaur said.

The court added that tickets of all rates should be available online.

Appearing for Singh, lawyers Harish Malhotra and Tanuj Khurana said the executive committee members issued free passes at their whims and fancy for getting personal benefits not connected with the promotion of game of cricket.

They said selling these tickets at a time when the cricket association was already running at a loss could have generated major revenue.

In its reply, the executive committee denied issuing free passes and said it was only in response to certain firm commitments.

The committee also defended giving free tickets to officials of the Delhi government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, traffic police and other civic agencies, saying they had to be rewarded in some way for their cooperation and support in holding the matches.

The case will come up for hearing April 28.

The Feroz Shah Kotla stadium will host four matches - South Africa vs West Indies (Feb 24), West Indies vs Netherlands (Feb 28), Kenya vs Canada (Mar 7) and India vs Netherlands (March 9) - during the ongoing World Cup.

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