The tickets for the Pakistan Super League’s final have become a hot commodity and are being sold in black market as many cricket fans have expressed sheer disappointment with how the whole ticket-selling procedure has panned out.
The online portal where tickets went on sale crashed because it experienced an unusual hike in traffic on its servers. The cricket-starved Karachiites had rushed to purchase the tickets for the PSL final as soon as it was announced that they went up for sale. Some of them had to wait in queues outside the designated courier service's offices for hours before getting hold of just one.
One such fan is Abdul Hakeem, a 66-year-old labourer who went to one of the many TCS Centres across the city in search of the coveted tickets.
“I told my wife that I will not return home until I get a ticket for my son who is especially coming from Rahim Yar Khan to watch the final,” said Hakeem. “It doesn’t matter who plays the final, as long as cricket is coming home, I am willing to pay any price for the ticket for my son."
While the passion of people like Hakeem is admirable, it makes one wonder whether or not such practices should be encouraged.
A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesperson told Dawn: “People should totally avoid buying tickets in black. It is not the right thing to do.”
When asked if the PCB had any plans to counter the black ticket-selling practice, the spokesperson explained, “Those who are buying tickets in black won’t be allowed to enter the stadium since all ticket-holders need to carry a copy of the CNIC of the person who bought the ticket.”
Emad Zafar, a PR manager by profession and a cricket fan, also expressed his disappointment at how the resale of tickets at four or five times the original rate is hurting the game.
“I think it's extremely sad and disappointing. Cricket of this level is coming to Karachi after years and genuine fans are not able to buy tickets because they got sold out on the website in a few hours and are now being sold in black for ridiculous prices,” said Zafar, adding that he's been offered a Rs1,000 General Enclosure ticket for Rs5,000.
Sports presenter Osama Ashaqeen corroborated the sale of PSL final tickets at double their original prices in the black market. “People are shelling out Rs8,000 for the Rs4,000 ticket. It is not fair for genuine cricket fans. They might miss out on live cricket action because of these artificially inflated prices,” he said.