Cricket fans were livid with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), and the latter's president Mohammad Azharuddin for the stampede at Hyderabad's Gymkhana Ground on Wednesday, September 21.
Over 10,000 people gathered for just 3,000 offline tickets for the third India-Australia T20I, which the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium will host on Sunday, September 25. Twenty people were injured, seven of them critically, when police resorted to lathi charge to clear the crowd that tried to barge into the ground.
Reports emerged on Tuesday, September 20, that due to a server issue with the official ticket seller, PayTM, some tickets will be sold offline on Thursday, September 22. However, due to a lack of clarity, fans started gathering on Wednesday itself.
According to The Indian Express, the situation got worse when they were told only two tickets would be made available per person and that too of certain stands. Police criticized the HCA for improper arrangements.
Meanwhile, fans criticized Azharuddin, who was appointed HCA president in 2019 and pointed to his involvement with the match-fixing scandal in 2000. They also blamed the BCCI for trusting the HCA, which is hosting an international match after nearly three years.
The following are the best reactions:
"We have done nothing wrong" - Mohammad Azharuddin
Azharuddin firmly defended the HCA, saying the organization has "done nothing wrong". He said:
“We are holding a match. It is not easy. It is not like sitting here and talking…There are times, we are going to have problems here and there. What happened today is very unfortunate. I am with the people who are injured. We have done nothing wrong."
“I know people want to watch the game. There are only so many people who can watch, beyond that you cannot. Sometimes you cannot. We are trying our best.”
He also said the HCA will give more details after the match. India will take on Australia in the second match of the three-T20I series in Vidarbha on Thursday. The visitors are leading the rubber 1-0 after a four-wicket win in Mohali on Tuesday.
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