India’s unexpected dismissal at the World Cup has given rise to a logistical impasse ahead of the finals at Lord’s on July 14, as it is expected to be once again dominated by Indians who purchased majority of the tickets – leaving practically none for other cricket fans.
Despite their team hurtling out of the tournament after registering an astonishing defeat against New Zealand, Indians, who had planned their trips months in advance, have decided to throng the ‘Mecca of Cricket’ to watch England take on the Kiwis.
This has resulted in a severe dearth of tickets for supporters of England, the hosts, and their opponent New Zealand. The crisis has left fans squeamish. While injustices may have perpetrated sports for centuries -- the fact that England waited 27 years to see their team in the World Cup final, and the Kiwis managed to topple all belief systems that screeched "They won't make it" to reach this point-- has to be taken into account. It cannot get bigger than this.
Many expected that Indian fans would be selling off their tickets, which they have bought in anticipation of Virat Kohli and his team playing the final. However, instead of reselling their tickets through the official ICC website, fans have resorted to alternatives such as StubHub and Viagogo, where tickets are being sold for more than £16,000 -- that's Rs 13.8 lakh -- which is more than 50 times their face value.
In the face of this ticketing deadlock, New Zealand cricketer Jimmy Neesham has issued an appeal to Indians, asking them to resell their tickets at the original prices through the official platform, and not at vastly inflated prices which denies genuine cricket fans the historic chance of watching their nations play the finals.
“Dear Indian cricket fans. If you don’t want to come to the final anymore then please be kind and resell your tickets via the official platform. I know it’s tempting to try to make a large profit but please give all genuine cricket fans a chance to go, not just the wealthy,” he wrote.
Neesham added that while he understands the desire of people to make “ A couple of quid”, demanding for prices as high as on the table is “absolutely ludicrous.”
He is not the only one. Many aggrieved fans from both camps have also floated sincere pleas on Twitter, seeking justice, hope and essentially tickets for the ultimate showdown:
The International Cricket Council have also appealed for fans who do not want to attend the game to return their tickets so they can be sold to other genuine supporters at face value, instead of selling them at exorbitant rates through unofficial resale sites. Supporters have until midday on Saturday to give back any unwanted tickets.
In the months before the tournament began fans could buy top rated Platinum tickets for £395 (Rs 34,000), Gold for £295 (Rs 24,000), Silver for £195 and Bronze for £95 for the 30,000 capacity Lord's ground.
However, by Saturday, the StubHub ticket website was offering tickets for as much as £12,150 (Rs 10.5 lakh), £7,896 ( Rs 6.8 lakh) and £5,548 (Rs 5.5 lakh).
Apart from stating that they are clamping down on sites like StubHub, the ICC has announced it will release an additional 200 tickets for Sunday’s final via their ticketing website – and said there may be more that come on sale.
England fans further been warned about the risk in purchasing exorbitantly priced World Cup final tickets from unofficial resale sites as they are likely to be cancelled – leaving them out of pocket and unable to gain access to Sunday’s match