THE World Cup organisers in Jamaica have announced that more than 200 tickets, including some for top matches, have been made null and void in a crackdown on the black market, especially sellers allocated tickets during the application phase who tried to use auction websites. The MCC decided to target websites, most notably E-Bay, with success to deter re-selling tickets for the Ashes Test at Lord’s in 2005. Stephen Price, the World Cup commercial manager, said they had worked very diligently to track down the persons “undermining the tournament’s integrity” in black market activity. He added: “We believe an even stronger message must be sent regarding indulgence in such practices – both to persons selling and buying these tickets. Offenders will have to face the consequences of their actions – no tickets and no refunds either.”
During phase one of public ticketing the World Cup offered ‘Follow A Path’ and ‘Venue Combination’ packages. Both included multiple tickets per package. In some instances, based on the ticket limits of four per person per match, successful applicants could have been eligible for up to 44 tickets had they requested the maximum number of ‘Follow A Path’ packages, as permitted. Price emphasised that tickets, hospitality, and tour and travel packages should only be purchased from authentic channels — CWC official travel agents, official hospitality agents and through the public ticketing programme.
He also warned cricket fans to steer clear of unofficial websites, including www.globalticketservice.com and www.worldticketshop.com , which he said had been giving the impression that they could provide valid tickets.
CHARLIE SAYS: The signs are that a trip to the World Cup will be very expensive in any case for fans during what is usually the peak holiday time — and costs will be astronomical for cricket correspondents. National newspapers are having to pay in excess of £22,000 to follow England and then to the finish the tournament.