x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Cricket fans left frustrated after release of IPL tickets delayed

Cricket fans were left frustrated on Sunday after the supermarket sale of tickets for Indian Premier League matches was delayed because of 'technical difficulties'.

IPL will be a great opportunity for cricket fans in the UAE. Andrew Yates / AFP
IPL will be a great opportunity for cricket fans in the UAE. Andrew Yates / AFP

DUBAI // Cricket fans were left frustrated on Sunday after the supermarket sale of tickets for Indian Premier League matches was delayed because of “technical difficulties”.

The tickets, which start at Dh20, were due to be made available at Lulu hypermarkets but fans were told the sale had been pushed back 24 hours.

Dozens of people had turned up at the supermarket chain’s store in Karama early on Sunday morning.

>>> Delighted UAE cricket fans finally get hands on IPL tickets

“They all wanted tickets, but we had to turn them away,” a spokeswoman said. “We told them to come back tomorrow.”

Staff at Lulu in Al Barsha were informed “last minute” that tickets would not be sold. “Due to technical difficulties, no one will be able to purchase the tickets from any of the Lulu hypermarkets in the UAE today,” a spokesman said.

Fans in Abu Dhabi were also turned away. “We got an email this morning telling us the tickets won’t be available until tomorrow at 10am,” a spokesperson at Lulu’s Khalidiya Mall branch said.

Shahnawaz Yousuf, operations manager at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council, said: “There were some difficulties regarding the ticketing, and people were not able to purchase the tickets today.”

He did not think the one-day delay would affect turnout at the games.

“Lots of people are buying the tickets online. Those who are unable to purchase the tickets online can get them tomorrow from one of the Lulus.”

The IPL says almost 40,000 tickets have been bought online since sales began this month, with 20,000 sold within an hour of their website going live.

“This is a remarkable start. The sale of tickets off the field will be complemented by some exhilarating cricket on the field,” said Ranjib Biswal, chairman of the tournament’s governing council.

David East, chief executive of the Emirates Cricket Board, advised those who have not yet bought tickets to do so as soon as possible before they are sold out.

“It’s pleasing to see the way tickets have sold online,” he said. “Apart from cricket fans, interest in cricket is growing among people in the UAE.

“This is evident from the number of tickets sold on the very first day. The spectators will come in huge numbers to support and savour the IPL.”

Tickets are available online at iplt20.com and ticketmaster.ae.

They are expected to be available on Monday at Lulu hypermarkets in Al Barsha, Al Qusais, Al Karama and Arabian Centre in Dubai; at Al Wahda Mall, Khalidiya Mall, Mushrif Mall, Madinat Zayed, Capital Mall, Al Raha Mall and Mazyad Centre in Abu Dhabi; and at Al Wahda, Al Nahda and Mai Saloon in Sharjah.

Tickets also go on sale at noon on Monday at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Other stadium box-office sales start on Thursday.

The minimum price for the Abu Dhabi matches is Dh20 for a single match, and Dh30 for double-headers. In Dubai, a ticket for one match starts at Dh30, and Dh50 for double-headers. In Sharjah, tickets will start at Dh30 for a single match, and Dh40 for the double-headers.

The first two weeks of tournament matches will be played in the UAE, beginning with the defending champions Mumbai Indians against Kolkata Knight Riders at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on April 16.

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae