LAHORE: People from all over the country are reaching Lahore in the hope to grab tickets for the Independence Cup 2017, but getting their hands on one is proving to be an uphill task.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced tickets in different denomination at from Rs500 to Rs8,000 for different enclosures. However, several cricket enthusiasts complained no tickets of Rs500 and Rs2,500 are available in designated bank branches or online.
According to the official Twitter handle of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Independence Cup 2017 tickets were available in designated branches of the Bank of Punjab, including Main Boulevard Gulberg, New Garden Town, Model Town, Z Block DHA, Saddar Bazar, Walton Road, Muslim Town, Karim Block, Faisal Town, Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Baghbanpura, Ravi Road, McLeod Road, L Block DHA, Mughalpura, Main Badian Road, Bank Square, Gulshan Ravi, Samanabad and Begum Kot. However, cricket buffs complained that bank officials were not issuing the tickets, claiming all stocks had been sold out.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Faizan Butt said he had visited five branches of the Bank of Punjab to get five tickets of Rs500 for his friends and family, but could not even get a single one. “All bank branches have stopped the sale of Rs500 tickets. Only Rs4,000 and Rs8,000 tickets are available in a few branches and this I cannot afford,” he said.
Another cricket enthusiast, Muhammad Hafeez, said he reached Lahore from Faisalabad on Sunday night as his cousins were sure that they would get a few tickets for Independence Cup matches. However, after reaching Lahore, he came to know that no tickets were available at the designated branches. “We kept standing in queues outside different bank branches but failed to grab a single ticket as all stocks have been sold out,” he indicated.
Similarly, the PCB has appointed eticketing.pk as an online ticket franchise for Independence Cup 2017 but the website shows the Rs2,500 and Rs8,000 tickets quota has already been sold out.
PCB social media channels are also flooded with cricket lovers’ complaints. Sufian Riaz from Karachi pointed out that he paid through EasyPaisa for an online ticket purchase, but was still to receive it. In response to several such queries, PCB officials have asked cricket fans to authorise their family members to collect a physical ticket from eticketing’s office in Lahore on submission of original booking email along with their valid CNIC.
A cricket lover, Mansoor Rafiq, mentioned that he paid Rs2,500 to get an online ticket as he lives some 700 km away from Lahore. “What is the use of online ticketing if I have to collect the ticket from Lahore?” he questioned. Hundreds of similar complaints had been posted on social media accounts of the PCB and eticketing.pk, but only a few got a response.
The black marketing of Independence Cup 2017 tickets is also being witnessed online. The PCB has warned cricket fans to beware of counterfeits, but people are still taking the risk. Several black marketers were selling Independence Cup 2017 tickets on different social media platforms.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2017.