Cricket fans beaten

Police
used bamboo sticks to beat back cricket fans trying to buy tickets in Bangalore
as ICC Cricket World Cup organisers criticised Indian officials over growing
ticketing chaos.

Fans queuing for Cricket World Cup
seats at India’s game with England were baton-charged by police as huge crowds
pushed towards the gates of the M. Chinnaswamy stadium.

Several people were injured and
taken away on stretchers as police attempted to keep order among the throng,
which was reported as least 30,000 people.

All 7,000 tickets put on sale on
Thursday sold out within hours, leaving many disappointed fans who had waited
at the ground overnight.

A letter from the International
Cricket Council (ICC) to organising committee chairman Sharad Pawar was leaked
early Thursday airing “serious concerns” over distribution and sales
of tickets for the tournament.

There was particular concern over
plans to sell the remaining 4,000 tickets available for the 2 April  final in Mumbai over the counter.

“With the significant demand
and little availability … there is potential for chaos and physical injury
when the box office sales open,” the ICC warned.

The ICC’s worst fears were quickly
realised when swarms of excited fans descended on the 50,000-seater stadium in
Bangalore to purchase tickets for the high-profile India v England game.

The ICC told Pawar in the letter
that issues surrounding distribution of tickets “had now reached critical
status and require your immediate intervention.”

The ICC said it was waiting for a
response from Pawar before deciding any further course of action.

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