IND vs AUS: The late afternoon lull hadn’t curbed the enthusiasm of at least two young boys at the web-exchange ticket counter outside Narendra Modi Stadium. They were quick to hand over the physical tickets to those who had made online bookings for the series-deciding India-Australia Test that starts on Thursday. They were also prompt to inform that Day 1 tickets – when Prime Minister Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese will be in the stands to witness the start of the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy – were sold out.
“Modiji aane wale hain na (Modiji will come),” they say as a way of explanation. Most walking away from the counter had tickets for the second day of the Test. As they took the long walk to the main gate of the world’s biggest cricket stadium, they expressed regret about missing the opening day. For most of last week, fans have taken to social media to complain about the unavailability of opening day tickets on bookmyshow.com – BCCI’s official ticketing partner. The board has been tight-lipped, they had assured that the problem was temporary and tickets for all five days would be available soon.
The boys at the ticket counter were also giving hope to disappointed fans. “The demand is high but you might get tickets online, even for Day 1,” they said. To make a point, one of them fishes out his smartphone, logs on to the website, checks availability, flashes a smile, gives a thumbs up. He books it too. The deal is done, two Day 1 tickets are booked and the printout pushed under the semi-circle opening of the glass window. “You are lucky, I guess these were the last few tickets left,” he says. Not everyone has been that lucky.
With all three Tests in this series barely lasting ‘two days and one session’, there has been a sense of resignation among fans. “These days, games get over in about two days and if you miss the first day, what is the point of witnessing a Test?” says a fan outside the ticket counter.