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Did nothing wrong, insists Azhar but do figures add up?

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HYDERABAD: A day after the stampede at Gymkhana Grounds which left several people, including a few police personnel injured, Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president Mohd Azharuddin on Friday insisted that “we have done nothing wrong” with regard to sale of tickets for the T20 International between India and Australia.

The third and final tie of the three-match series is scheduled to be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Uppal on Sunday.Though the HCA chief tried to provide a detail account of the tickets that have been sold, a major chunk of the tickets didn’t get accounted for raising eyebrows and leading to allegations of irregularities and black marketing.

Addressing the media, Azharuddin said that 11,450 tickets were sold online on September 15 while 4,000 tickets were booked by corporates on Paytm.He also revealed that on September 22, 2,100 more tickets were allocated for online booking and 3,000 tickets for offline booking and added that around 6,000 passes were issued to the internal stakeholders, corporates, councils, and members and a lot of complimentary passes were also issued.

However, these figures account for 26,550 tickets out of the total capacity of 55,000 seats at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, the venue of Sunday’s match.While tickets were not issued for around 8,000 to 10,000 seats which are under repair, the remaining 8,000 to 10,000 tickets are not accounted for by the HCA president.

When asked about blocking and black marketing of the tickets and mismanagement of the entire process, the former India captain said that HCA is in no way connected with “blocking” of tickets.“When the tickets were sold online, how could anybody block them from outside? I fail to understand. If somebody is claiming so, then it is totally untrue. I haven’t done anything wrong. I have got all the files. The supervisory committee has come from the Supreme Court. The HCA and I are answerable to that committee. I am going to give all the details to the committee,” Azharuddin said.

Responding to a query on Thursday’s stampede at the Gymkhana Grounds, he said, he was disappointed and pained by the incident. “My heart goes out to the families of the injured. From our association, we are taking care of their medical expenses. If there is anything more we can do, we will definitely do it. Whatever happened on Thursday is the HCA’s fault,” he said.When asked about police cases filed against them, HCA Secretary R Vijayanand said that they will in turn file cases against Paytm.

SC panel gives HCA ‘full freedom’ to conduct match

Hyderabad: A supervisory committee, appointed by the Supreme Court to look into the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) affairs, held a video conference on Friday over the conduct of Sunday’s India-Australia T20 match. The committee is headed by Justice NA Kakru (retd) and comprises Director General of ACB Anjani Kumar, former cricketer SL Venkatapathy Raju and Director of Hyderabad Cricket Academy of Excellence Vanka Pratap as members. During the conference, Justice Kakru said that the prime concern at this point is to ensure smooth conduct of the match and requested the government agencies to cooperate in the matter.

The committee, however, refused to intervene in the process of preparation to conduct the match and decided to give “full freedom” to the HCA to organise the match in a systematic manner. Justice Kakru will arrive in the city on September 26 to review the events that occurred in the run-up to the match. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

73 Days ago