Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Ticket sales suspended after police-mob clash

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan's Cricket Board (PCB) was forced to suspend the first day of sales of tickets for next week's historic Pakistan-India One-day match in Karachi after thousands of fans caused mayhem at sales booths, some clashing with police.

A large crowd gathered on Sunday outside the National Stadium, the only outlet for the tickets for the March 13 game in this southern city, but the mayhem and clashes meant the PCB had to close the sales booths.

The PCB said on Sunday that it would resume the ticket sales on Monday after increasing the number of outlets for the tickets.

"We will resume the ticket sale from Monday and in an orderly manner by increasing the number of booths and will have outlets other than the National Stadium," PCB chief executive Ramiz Raja said.

"We have only 20,000 tickets for sale after 20 percent have already been sold on the internet and in a city of 140 million people such minor incidents take place due to overdemand," Raja said.

Frustrated fans who gathered at the stadium on Sunday threw stones at police who retaliated with batons.

Several people received minor injuries but no one was seriously hurt, witnesses said. The main gate of the stadium had to be closed.

"We started the ticket sale in a normal manner but there was too much crowd in and outside the stadium," said an official from the firm handling the sales.

Earlier in the day staff had to wait for several hours before they could enter the stadium because the three sales booths, with eight windows, were so crowded.

Witnesses criticized the PCB for only selling the tickets at the stadium, saying one outlet was not enough to handle the large number of people seeking entry to the game.

The PCB has previously sold tickets through various outlets, including banks.

India opens their 39-day tour with the first of five One-day matches in Karachi on March 13 on their first tour of Pakistan in 15 years.

Tickets cost between 100 and 1,500 rupees (two to 26 dollars) and the stadium has a capacity of 33,000.

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