Empty seats mock fans | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 06, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 06, 2012

Sahara Cup 2012

Empty seats mock fans

The unavailability of tickets for the third ODI between Bangladesh and West Indies led to chaotic scenes at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday morning as fans broke the window panes of the BCB headquarters at the stadium and also those of the adjoining National Cricket Academy.
The severity of the rioting halted traffic in the area for some time. The situation was eventually brought under control by police before noon.
An almost flawless performance by the Bangladesh cricket team in Khulna, which gave the Tigers a rare opportunity for a series win, was bound to attract a full house for the third game of the five-match series. As expected the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), through a press release sent on the eve of the match, announced that the tickets for the match were sold out.
Scenes inside the stadium however displayed a slightly contrasting picture. While the presence of over 20 thousand supporters, as announced by the electronic scoreboard, lent the match an electric atmosphere, there were sections of empty seats in various stands, which raised many eyebrows, especially in light of the 'sold-out' announcement.
The gallery, the part of the stadium with the cheapest seats and which usually generates the most noise and colour when on song, wasn't full even as the visitors began their chase in the evening.
The Grand Stand, which offers more expensive seats in comparison also had patches of empty seats.
"I didn't get to go to the stadium, but some of my friends did. It was quite frustrating to know that there were empty seats and that I still couldn't get tickets," said Ashfaq Chowdhury, a student of AIUB.
Explaining the reason behind the empty seats, Gazi Ashraf Hossain, organising secretary of the series said, "It's a regular scenario. Almost 6,000 tickets are given as complimentary passes to councillors and other dignitaries and they don't always turn up. Hence one can find the empty spaces in the stadium. People who buy the tickets though, always end up coming."
With Bangladesh performing well in the series, the upcoming matches, in terms of the 'ticketing demand' are almost certain to receive a similar response. However, with things going the way they are right now, it seems the dream of watching the Tigers play will remain unfulfilled for some, even as they see swathes of empty seats on their television sets.

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