Fans queue up in cold, tickets sell like hot cakes

Fans queue up in cold, tickets sell like hot cakes
He skipped a bank exam to buy ticket for the third T20 match between India and England at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on February 1. Aravind Vishnu Saravanan, 21, an ardent fan of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, chose the match over career by skipping the Junior Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers exam on Saturday.

“I am a huge fan of Dhoni and his helicopter shot,” he said, waving the ticket and munching corn. He had come all the way from Krishnagiri (Tamil Nadu), taking a night bus to Bengaluru and reached Chinnaswamy Stadium at 5.30 am. Saravanan, however, regrets that he couldn’t buy another ticket for his friend, who is soon flying to New Zealand. There were hundreds of others, standing in long queues from late Friday evening. Police had a tough time convincing the fans to come later.

“I joined the queue at 2 am, when there were already more than 200 people. I managed to get a ticket at 10.30 am and am waiting for my friend to get one for her,” said software engineer Arvind Kumar Chaudhary. “I saw people sitting and sleeping on the footpath and the police were there since midnight when the crowd started swelling,” Chaudhary said.

There was a ticket counter each at the four gates of the stadium and the sale of tickets began at 7 in the morning. There were separate queues for women and army personnel. “We had no breakfast, no lunch. The men’s queues were so long that for every 40 men, only five women were allowed to purchase tickets,” said Reena M, cricket fan and software engineer from Electronics City.

Sensing that their line is much longer, a few college boys persuaded girls from their colleges to buy the tickets for them as the women’s queue was considerably shorter. Some of the boys offered Rs 200 extra for a gallery ticket worth Rs 500. But this trick didn’t work long as the police started looking for women who repeatedly got into the queue for buying more tickets and asked them to come out.

Mohammad Razik, 14, and Mohammad Anas, 7, from Fraser Town, who were standing in the queue along with their father Sarfaraz Salim from 9.30 am, had to return home disappointed in the evening as the tickets were sold out. A few Israeli nationals too returned disappointed as the Rs 2,500 tickets they wanted to buy got sold out in no time.

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