To manage the massive demand for tickets for the World T20, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to conduct a random draw of the lottery system for all Team India matches, the semifinals and final.
The fans are asked to register through an online registration process whereby they have to provide their name, email address and mobile number. The registrants enter a random draw from where the lucky fans are chosen through a lottery system, with the draw being conducted from the highest ticket value to the lowest. The fans are notified after the draw upon selection and have to complete their payment within 48 hours to claim their ticket. Given that each fan is entitled to a maximum of two tickets per match per mobile number and the random nature of the draw, the question is, is this really a fair opportunity or will it give rise to black marketing?
This lottery system is not something new to sport, however. It has been taking place for many years in major football competitions as well as in tennis grand slams such as Wimbledon. It is, therefore, a fair process in managing the excessive demand for tickets for major global sporting events, and with the upcoming World T20, the BCCI has gone in the same direction. But does the online registration and random draw really ensure transparency?
I mean, what does BCCI when it says that a limited inventory of tickets are being sold through the lottery system? How many tickets are really going up for sale online? How many are going to the BCCI and the organisers? How many will be available at the ticket counters? These are some questions that remain unanswered. With around 2,02,000 online registrations made for the India-Pakistan Dharamsala encounter, despite the stadium boasting a capacity of a mere 23,000 and only a fraction of that being made available online, will the random lottery system only add to the black marketing of tickets?
The registrations for the rescheduled India vs Pakistan encounter at Kolkata have opened on the BookMyShow website from 12 noon on Saturday, and given the enormous demand for tickets, huge number of registrations are expected in the next 48 hours and fans are likely to register with multiple phone numbers to ensure they get tickets to the marquee clash. But black marketing set aside, the online random draw for the World T20 has been a hassle. With tickets only going up for sale in the last week of February and the lottery system in place, fans had no clarity whether to make their travel plans, hotel bookings and book their flight/train tickets.
With a mere 7 days to go for the India-Pakistan encounter, let us hope the BCCI and BookMyShow can ensure a hassle free delivery of tickets to the fans and help them make their travel plans albeit in the 11th hour.