Metrolife: IPL ticket racket still thriving

Metrolife: IPL ticket racket still thriving

Royal Challengers beat Hyderabad Sunrisers at Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday. Many fans had to buy tickets in black.

Touts were at it again, with no fear of the law, making a killing as RCB clashed with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Black-marketing of IPL tickets is back. The last match in Bengaluru on Thursday saw touts doing brisk business.

The match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Sunrisers Hyderabad at Chinnaswamy Stadium left many fans disappointed: no tickets were available online or at the counters. RCB won the match.

Many standing around the stadium got in but only after buying Rs 750 and Rs 800 tickets in black. The going rates were Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500. Last time, they were sold between Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000.

In lead articles on April 27 and May 3, Metrolife had exposed the racket around the stadium. 

After the first expose, police had deployed more men on the ground. The racket had abated on the Cubbon Park side of the stadium, but thrived along Cubbon Road. 

On Thursday, touts huddled at many points around the stadium were selling tickets even at 8.45 pm, a good 45 minutes after the match began. RCB fan Varun Agarwal told Metrolife, “I ended up paying Rs 2,000 for a Rs 750 ticket but at least I got to watch the match.”  

The racket was most in evidence near Gate 5, 6 and 6A. An IPL event-management insider said, “We had deputed at least 10 volunteers to keep an eye out for black marketers. But sadly, during some of the previous matches, the police dragged our volunteers to the police station along with the touts.” 

He said the police had done little on Thursday to curb the racket. “The best we can do is alert the police. We can’t arrest or detain anybody,” he said.

Cops busy elsewhere

With all eyes on the political crisis playing out across multiple locations, fewer policemen were on duty at the cricket stadium. “Many of our colleagues have been sent to Raj Bhavan and the BJP office in Malleswaram,” a constable at the stadium said.

Not a priority

Metrolife called up an official of the Karnataka State Cricket Association on Thursday, and suggested he send an office-bearer to check out the ground reality. “We are busy in the midst of the match. Each of us is assigned a specific duty and it is impossible for us to come out at the moment,” he said. He said he would alert the police.

No arrests yet

City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar said about 1,000 personnel were on duty for the IPL match.  “We have deputed the regular police strength and not compromised on security. Since people come in huge numbers, we haven’t reduced the staff,” he said. He said his men had not come across any cases of black marketing till 9 pm, when Metrolife called.