The story so far: having set aside a paltry number of tickets for the public, failed to control crowds at booking counters, and seen the ticket-selling website crash when sales opened for the cricket world cup final, the BCCI, through its partner Kyazoonga, opted for a ballot to decide who would get a ticket to the event. I was among those whose name came up. Two days ago, I received an email from Kyazoonga. It said the physical tickets would be available for collection from March 30 to April 1 between 12.30pm and 8pm at the local hockey association ticket counters near Wankhede stadium. Claimants of tickets were asked to bring printouts, a government ID, the credit card with which the purchase was made, plus photocopies.
The first collection day, yesterday, was also the day of the India-Pakistan semi-final. No cricket fan in his or her right mind would miss that. I stayed home and watched TV. This afternoon, I went to the pickup location, getting there at 4.30. A policeman barred my way, and told me to come back tomorrow.
"It's full for today", he said.
"But I was told the counters would be open till 8".
"Yes, but we've sent in four hundred people, and that's all we can accommodate today at the rate they're giving out tickets".
There was some back and forth with me and two others who got there immediately after; the policeman, expectedly, enjoyed our plight.
"I've come a really long way" one said.
"Long way? From Australia?"
"That's close by. Come back tomorrow."
"It's a working day; I've already taken half-day today".
"What can I do about that?"
And so on.
So tomorrow, I shall pack a picnic lunch and a book and get there before noon, prepared to stand in queue for five or six hours. But of course, news of this additional obstacle must have got round, which means there will be a rush early, which means maybe even noon isn't good enough. People selected in the ballot who live in other cities and will only get in tomorrow afternoon are in for a cruel shock.