WC 2003 - World Cup tickets go abegging after South Africa~~s exit
Published: Monday, March 10, 2003, 21:10 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Johannesburg: Those who wanted to watch the World Cup but were dissuaded by 'house full' notices by the organisers, do not despair.There is plenty of room available in the various stadia in South Africa, thanks to the home team's early exit from the tournament.None of the three Super Sixes matches played up to Saturday drew capacity crowds with the New Zealand-Zimbabwe game at Goodyear Park in Bloemfontein on Saturday attracting just 2,000 spectators.Tickets were freely available for Monday's high-profile match between Asian rivals India and Sri Lanka at the Wanderers here, a game South Africa were billed to play as Group B winners had the host nation made it through.Instead, Sri Lanka took its place after knocking the hosts out following the dramatic rain-hit tie at Durban a week ago."I don't want to be nasty, but local zest for the tournament has vanished," a member of the ticketing committee at the Wanderers said."It's all there for the Indians and Sri Lankans. Come and get them."Tickets ranging from 250 Rand ($ 30) to 175 Rand were available over the counter even as a few desperate ticket-holders were seeking customers to sell off their stock.A South African, of Indian descent, Komini Patel said it had never been easier to get into the Wanderers."I booked my ticket through the internet and arrived early in the morning to avoid any hassles, but there is no crowd," she said."I want to see India play but my local South African friends have passed their tickets to others."With only authorised agents allowed to sell tickets, plenty are available in the shopping malls around Johannesburg, but there are few takers.Sunil Vadhvana, who flew from India to follow his team's progress, said he was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to secure tickets."When we landed here we had decided that, if need be, we will buy tickets from the black market, but I just bought seven from the counter," he said.South African President Thabo Mbeki had last week joined World Cup organisers in appealing to local cricket fans to continue their support of the tournament after Shaun Pollock's men bowed out.