THE Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has invited the ire of many former first-class players after allotting only 150 tickets for their cricketers in the ongoing IPL-5 season at the Wankhede Stadium. Interestingly,there are more than 300 cricketers under the MCA banner which comprises former India and Mumbai players. On the eve of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab games,many first class players had to stand in a long queue to get a single ticket for the game while many had to return empty-handed.
“We had kept tickets on first-cum-first basis as we don’t have many tickets for them. MCA just gets a handful of tickets and as the IPL it is not hosted by us,the major chunk of tickets are with the franchise. We gave tickets to those who came personally and the demand was only for the RCB game,” informed MCA joint-secretary Nitin Dalal.
The MCA allots two tickets per former India and current national players while one each to its first-class players. MCA gets only 15% of the tickets for the Wankhede Stadium whereas the franchise keeps 80% while five percent is kept for the BCCI.
Interestingly in their Annual General body meeting held last month,MCA agreed to allot 10 tickets to each of its clubs (329 clubs). The MCA used to allot only eight tickets to each club until last season but after their AGM,the MCA decided to increase tickets for their members by two.
A former Mumbai player,who returned empty handed said that MCA could have sorted things out before the IPL began. “They knew that there are more than 300 cricketers then they should have a word with the franchise and could have asked for more tickets. What is ironic is that club members,just because they have voting rights,get 10 tickets each but a player gets only one. They could have deducted atleast one ticket from clubs’ quota,” a player said.
Dalal stated that during any international game,the MCA makes sure they give tickets to each of their players but in this case the MCA is helpless. “During international games we make sure we have a set of tickets for our players but we have fewer during IPL. As most of tickets are with franchise_Mumbai Indians we can only keep so many tickets,” Dalal stated.