Ticket fiasco is not unique to India
By Rajiv Gupta
First it was the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and now it’s the Cricket World Cup (CWC) – two events that should have enhanced India’s image as the host of global sporting events but has instead hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
While the chaotic preparations and organisational blunders surrounding the CWG is well documented, events at the CWC need to be put into perspective.
This CWC is one of the most viewed sporting spectacles in the world. India, the second highest populated country, is one of its co-hosts.
Money is clearly not an issue as the Indian board is the richest in the sport. But then money cannot buy everything, as some credit card adverts will have you believe.
Take for instance the issue of the official ticket agency Kyazoonga website going into meltdown after registering 10 million hits within 20 minutes. In a country where cricket is a religion, the website could have predicted the crash especially with only 1000 tickets up for sale. But how could it have been prevented?
Those with technical knowhow observed it “needed a server farm the size of a football ground” to cope with the huge surge.
Much less populous and sports crazed nations, who have far more advanced technology at their disposal, have suffered the same technical glitches for less prominent matches. So why the outcry?
Firstly, the CWC was India’s chance to prove that the CWG fiasco was an aberration at the hands of a few.
Secondly, this is cricket. Surely, there is significant experience and financial muscle to pull off a fabulous tournament? The 1987 World Cup was a success more than 20 years ago.
It time for the various authorities in charge of the CWC to pull up their socks and to remember that the sponsors and the financial muscle exists because the common man in the ground, and in front of the television, is passionate about the sport.
PHOTO: A fan poses with his India v England match ticket outside the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. REUTERS/Philip Brown