Professor Ratnakar Shetty, who was recently banned by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for five years, yesterday appeared before the committee probing the 405 unsold tickets of the India versus Sri Lanka 2011 World Cup final clash which was played at the Wankhede Stadium on April 2.
Shetty was the MCA’s treasurer and World Cup’s tournament director. It is learnt, Shetty put forward his case in front of the three-member committee headed by senior advocate Avinash Rana.
“He said whatever he had to. He presented whatever facts he had to. The committee has just taken into account what everybody had to say. They will meet a few more times until all the members related to the matter are heard. Analysis and investigations will start after that,” an MCA source told MiD DAY.
Shripad Halbe, a former managing committee member, also appeared before the committee. The inquiry committee called Halbe as he was a part of the ticketing process for the 2011 World Cup. The MCA’s accountant was also questioned. The meeting went on for nearly three hours at the MCA office at Churchgate.
Former India cricketer and coach Lalchand Rajput and Hemant Waingankar, who were the MCA’s joint secretaries during the World Cup, were also summoned but failed to make it yesterday.
MiD DAY was the first to break the news of 405 World Cup final tickets being unsold in its March 19, 2012 edition. The MCA suffered a loss of R73.5 lakh from the unsold tickets. It was shocking when 96 tickets of R1,500 per ticket of the Sunil Gavaskar Stand (lower bay) which was meant for the public, also went unsold.
The demand created a thriving ground for black marketers and some tickets were reportedly sold for R1,50,000 each.
It can be recalled that the MCA had to give around 8,500 tickets to the International Cricket Council (ICC) as per their contractual obligations. Nearly 20,000 tickets were sold at a subsidised rate to MCA-affiliated clubs. Approximately 4000 tickets were made available for the general public out of which 1000 were sold online and rest through a lottery system by the association.