Sri Lanka Cricket rejects ticket 'rip off' claim
Colombo, Aug 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka cricket authorities today rejected claims of discrimination against England fans in the pricing of tickets for an upcoming tour, saying both foreign and local supporters would be charged the same.
England will play five one-day internationals, a one-off Twenty20 match and three Tests between October 10 and November 27 at four venues -- Colombo, Dambulla, Galle and Pallekele.
British media reports have alleged a "rip off", with England fans charged 50 pounds (10,250 rupees) while locals paid only 1.50 pounds (307 rupees).
Sri Lanka Cricket administrative chief Aruna de Silva said the English media had compared the price of tickets in the most expensive enclosure to those in the cheapest open stands.
"Whether it is an English fan or a local they pay the same rate. There is no discrimination whatsoever. If England fans want to, they are welcome to buy the cheapest tickets," de Silva told AFP.
He said grandstand tickets were available through a hospitality company which had bought the rights for Test matches.
The company was bundling food and drinks with tickets to the air-conditioned enclosure and charging a premium on the standard rates, but that applied equally to both foreigners and locals, de Silva said.
In Colombo, the grandstand is priced at 5,000 rupees ($31 or 24 pounds) while the cheapest ticket would cost 300 rupees ($1.87, 1.47 pounds), de Silva said. For Test matches, the fifth day's play is free.
England fans known as the Barmy Army have asked Sri Lankan cricket authorities to reduce prices for them. But de Silva said they could not cut prices for foreigners when locals were being charged the full ticket price