Knight Riders facing ticket nightmare
With less than two weeks to go for the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s much-hyped Kolkata carnival seems to be stumped even before a single ball has been bowled.
Three days after the ticket counters for Kolkata’s IPL matches were thrown open to members of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), the response has been way below expectations.
The CAB has 31,000 members who were all entitled to buy a ticket each in the 87,000-capacity stadium before seats would be put up for public sale. But only 500 members have booked tickets so far.
Members were offered free tickets for all international matches so far. But the Kolkata Knight Riders franchisee Red Chillies Entertainment and the CAB had agreed that even the members would have to buy tickets for the Twenty20 tournament.
Says former BCCI joint-secretary and Shyambazaar Club official Goutam Dasgupta: “The response for tickets was bound to be zero the moment the organisers changed the rule and asked the members to pay up for their tickets.”
But the CAB administration remained confident. “One reason the ticket counters are wearing a deserted look is the fact that members are being offered season tickets that are priced quite high. Once daily tickets are available from April 15-16 onwards, the sales will shoot up,” said the body’s vice-president Indranath Dey.
Things are expected to get worse for Shah Rukh’s Kolkata project, if one is to believe Trinamool MLA Jyotipriya Mallick, secretary of the CAB members’ forum.
The body had taken CAB, Shah Rukh and BCCI to court over the move to sell tickets to members. After the city civil court turned their plea down, the forum is expected to take the matter to high court tomorrow.