Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Cuttack, Oct 23:
Undeterred by incessant rains over the last three days, hundreds of cricket enthusiasts waited in a long queue today in front of the counter to buy tickets for the fifth match of the ongoing India-Australia one day international (ODI) series scheduled to be played at the Barabati Stadium here on Saturday.
Even the bleak forecast of the weatherman for the next two days, which threatens to play spoilsport for the match, failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the cricket fans, hordes of whom started descending in the city since Tuesday evening and then waited patiently in front of the ticket counter for the coveted ticket for the marquee encounter.
Although the ticket counters opened half-an-hour later than the scheduled time, a staggering 11, 271 tickets were sold on Wednesday, Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) sources revealed. The remaining 4000 tickets would be sold on Thursday morning, they said.
Meanwhile, the date for online redemption of tickets has been extended till 11.30 a.m. of 26th October 2013 at Cambridge School Counter, an OCA press release said. Those who have booked their tickets online are advised to collect the same by 11.00 a.m. of 26thOctober 2013 at Cambridge School Counter Today, the release said adding 497 tickets have already been redeemed.
While the seating capacity of Barabati is more than 45,000, only 16, 537 tickets were up for grabs at the counters for the public. As many as 4, 451 tickets were sold online on the website www.ticketgenie.in. 12,640 tickets are reserved for BCCI sponsors, members, affiliated units of the OCA and the Odisha Olympic Association, sources said.
OCA authorities are working tirelessly to keep the Barabati grounds match-fit on Saturday. Water from the outfield is being drained out by digging four wells around the ground.
Efforts are also on to keep the pitch dry by providing a three layer cover. Despite the extra protection, however, rain water seeped into the pitch last night. Workers, however, removed the water using sponge. “If the rains spare us at least for a single day on Friday, we will get the ground match-fit on Saturday”, said an OCA official.
The two teams are expected to arrive at Bhubaneswar on Thursday after Wednesday’s match in Ranchi. The teams would stay in Bhubaneswar and come here for practice on Friday, sources said.
Meanwhile, Commissionerate police have conducted a mock security drill ahead of the players’ arrival on Wednesday. Twin city Commissioner Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sharma informed that 22 platoons of police force would be deployed in Bhubaneswar while 60 platoons will keep eye on maintaining law and order in Cuttack.
In a bid to prevent the use of fake and bogus tickets, OCA has, for the first time, introduced bar-coding system and other security features on the tickets. While tickets for Galleries 1, 2, 3 and 4 have been fixed at Rs 500 each, tickets for Galleries 6 and 7 are priced at Rs 400. Some tickets of Gallery 6 would be available to players at a concessional rate of Rs 200 each.
The prices of tickets for Special Enclosures have been fixed at Rs 2000, while a ticket in Corporate Gallery would cost Rs 3000. New Pavilion tickets have been priced at Rs 4000, a ticket in the AC box in Gallery-4 would cost Rs 5000 and for the elite audience, a ticket in Corporate box has been priced at Rs 10,000, sources said, adding that complementary lunch, tea and dinner would be provided in all these categories.