Kolkata: On the eve of historic first-ever Day-Night Test cricket to be played in India at the iconic Eden Gardens, Kolkatans seems to have gone back to Seventies and Eighties. Yes, you heard that right. Like the gone era, when test cricket tickets used to be in high demands and often tickets would even be sold at exorbitant rates to the cricket lovers.
With the advent of the shorter format of cricket- One Day International (ODI) and Twenty-Twenty (T20) overs match, there was a visible decline in the interest for test cricket. However, with former Captain of Indian cricket team, Sourav Ganguly donning the role of Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) President, agreed to have the first pink-ball day-night test match in India.
On November 20, an Anti-Rowdy Squad and Detective Department (ARS and DD) team, arrested around six people from the area surrounding Eden Gardens. The accused were black marketing India-Bangladesh Test Match. When arrested, they had around 38 tickets in possession.
The Joint CP (crime) Murlidhar Sharma informed, “Our team had been keeping a watch around Eden Gardens to conduct its drive against black marketing of tickets of the Test match between India and Bangladesh. During the drive, a total six(6) persons were arrested for ticket blacking and thirty-eight (38) tickets were seized from their possession. All of them were taken to Maidan P.S. for prosecution.”
While Honorary Joint Secretary of Cricket Association of Bengal, Debarata Das told eNewsroom, “There has been a phenomenal sale in the Test Cricket Ticket after a long time. As per official data from the box office, the tickets for the first three days have been completely sold out.” On being asked, about the black marketing of the ticket, he said, “We are not aware of this (blacking of ticket). However, we have asked the box office to be careful about not selling tickets to black marketers.”
He added, “We have taken care to ensure that the ticket is distributed carefully. We first gave tickets to the life members, then associate members, then clubs and universities. As for the sale, we can’t monitor the online or box office sale. But it feels good to see so much interest in test cricket once again.”
Recalling the bygone era, when Test Cricket was very much in vogue, former Bengal Captain Sambaran Banerjee, said, “In the Seventies and Eighties when there was no T20, IPL and limited ODI matches, people of Kolkata wait for December for the Test matches to be played. Back then, people used to buy tickets in black. So, if I am being told that tickets are being blacked, it means the interest is back, may be because of the new format. But, it would be interesting to watch whether the match between India and Bangladesh played beyond three days.”