By: Keyur Seta
There is shock and outrage among the Common Man over the non-availability of tickets for Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th test match. But although I am eager to watch Sachin’s last match, I am not at all surprised by the turn of events, forget being shocked. This is simply because of the terrible history of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
This is not the first time that the Common Man has been deprived of watching a cricket match in the stadium. For as long as I know, the MCA has always been favoring affiliated clubs and, of course, the so-called VIPs and VVIPs whenever there has been an important match held at the Wankhede Stadium.
So, to me, it doesn’t come as a surprise whatsoever to see them do the same thing during the most important match ever in India; maybe on par with the World Cup Final. Just imagine – out of 50 or 60 thousand tickets, they kept just 4500 tickets for common public. However, even such tiny numbers of tickets were not sold to the public. The excuses given about law and order problem due to the sale of large number of tickets on stands and other issues are plain laughable!
Due to such excuses, they decided to sell those 4500 tickets online but how many did they actually sell? I had predicted beforehand that even the online sale of tickets is just a sham so I didn’t even try. The website owners said the site crashed as too many people logged in. And when the site finally opened, all tickets were already sold. Then the website walas created fake Twitter IDs for praising their site for their work in selling the tickets. You can’t fool as all the time!
In this way, the MCA has indirectly announced that such matches are only for the rich and elite class comprising super rich businessmen and Bollywood celebrities. The Common Man, who has solely helped in taking cricket and Sachin to such enormous heights, has no right to bid farewell to the legend! They have shown that for them, we cricket lovers forming the masses can be treated like dogs because they very well know next time, when there will be an important match at the Wankhede, we all will queue up again!
It also doesn’t come as a surprise to see such high level of black-marketing of tickets. In fact, such corrupt activities take place before each and every important match just below the nose of MCA authorities. What does this mean? Please read between the lines.
So the question remains – what can we do in such a terrible situation? One option is to dissolve not only the MCA but the entire Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The other is to stop buying tickets not only in black but also in normal rates and refuse to go even if you get them from any of the affiliated clubs. Empty stands will open their eyes! I am well aware that both these possibilities sound almost impossible. But there doesn’t seem to be any other option.