We want public to enjoy their day out

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2001, 18:23 [IST]
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Bangalore: The M Chinnaswamy Stadium is a beehive of activity on the eve of the first One-day International between Australia and India scheduled to be played on March 25. Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary Brijesh Patel and his dedicated team of workers are striving to leave no stone unturned for the success of the event in every sense of the word.

Brijesh, a former international cricketer of repute and an astute businessman, took time off from his hectic schedule to share a few thoughts on what goes behind in organising an event of such magnitude with Thatscricket.com in this exclusive chat.

Conducting such an event seems to involve a whole lot of work, how do you manage the schedule?

We have delegated all the work and every thing is going on smoothly. We have good teams taking care of ground maintenance, wicket, dressing rooms, gate control, hospitality, transport and other aspects, which will make the conduct of this tournament a great success as ever.

Do you consider this as akin to conducting a big marriage?

This is definitely like conducting a big marriage, but we have the infrastructure to meet the demands of the situation. We try to improve with every match and want the public to enjoy and have a nice day. That is definitely the bottom line. We strive to provide good and hygienic food and water at economical costs. We will provide good drinking water - we have connected aqua guards to all the stands, clean toilets and corporate facilities.

What are your comments on the negative publicity that the association has been receiving?

Unfortunately, we have been the butt of ridicule by the wrong press. Some of the leading dailies have become like tabloids and published stories without verifying facts. The team that was defeated by us seems to be behind all this and a section of the press is buying those stories without looking into the truth. Unfortunately, the press will lose its reputation by publishing such stories.

What exactly is the problem for so much of media hype?

The crux of the matter is that we have 33,000 tickets in a seating capacity of 42,000. These tickets are channelised to the public - mind you the public -through different sources. One of the outlets for the public to buy the tickets is the counters. At the counters, we had 10,500 tickets to sell. Normally, we open counters only at 9.00 am, but on March 19 we opened the counters at 7.15 itself because of 'Rahu Kalam' (inauspicious time). The tickets were all sold out in four and half hours.

Even cinema theatres with 1,500 capacity sell their tickets in 20 minutes. The ticket sales were brisk because of the denominations and there wasn't much hassle of change. The remaining tickets are sold through state associations (each south zone association gets 350 tickets and the remaining associations get 25 tickets), BCCI's sponsors like Pepsi, Taj and others, KSCA members - there are 4,500 members and each member gets two tickets, current players, Ranji players, politicians and bureaucrats.

Apart from the tickets, we have to issue passes to so many categories of people including politicians - MLAs, MLCs, MPs, state administration officials, KSCA members, players, Ranji cricketers, press and a whole lot of others. But, without finding out the real situation a section of the press seems to have bad mouthed us.

What was the initial reaction of match referee when he met you on Friday?

Match referee Cammie Smith was very impressed with the facilities. He is coming here after two years and has seen a lot of changes. He was very happy with the arrangements that we are making and expressed total satisfaction.

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