Exposed: mid-day sting finds Mumbaikars selling T20 tickets in black outside Wankhede

Updated: Apr 25, 2018, 13:56 IST | Suraj Ojha and Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

Despite administrative clean-up and streamlining of ticket sales, mid-day sting finds rampant selling of T20 2018 match tickets in the black market outside the stadium by anyone from a pizza delivery boy to the jersey seller

The tickets on offer in black
The tickets on offer in black

Are the tickets to the ongoing T20 2018 match you desperately want to watch sold out online? It looks like chanawalas, pizza guys and flag and jersey sellers outside Wankhede stadium are more than willing to oblige. mid-day caught all of these people illegally selling tickets to Tuesday's Mumbai vs Hyderabad match outside Wankhede stadium, right under the nose of the police, who didn't seem to give two hoots.

We caught six people on camera selling tickets priced between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000 just a few hours before the match was due to start. The touts claimed they earned Rs 20,000 per match, and more during a weekend match. They claimed that they bought the tickets in bulk and then sold them during the last few hours before a match as there were plenty of desperate fans who come to the stadium, willing to shell out anything for a ticket. Most of them said they had a kingpin who provided the tickets, which had been purchased online two months in advance. When we spoke to DCP (zone 1) Dr Manoj Kumar Sharma, about the police inaction outside the stadium, he said, "We have caught one tout with three tickets near Wankhede stadium. Strict action will be taken against him under the Bombay Police Act. We appeal to people to come forward and let us know whenever they come across such black marketing of tickets."

mid-day struck a deal for as many as 12 tickets, which we did not buy. Here's how it panned out:

Rohit (Tout)
Rohit (Tout)

Case 1
While we were walking along MCA Lane, we were chatting with each other about the match and wondering aloud if we could manage tickets to the match. A person in his late 20s brushed past us asking if we needed tickets. He identified himself as Rohit.

Rohit: Ticket chahiye kya?
Reporter: Kitne me doge ticket?

Rohit: Teen mein ek ticket milega
Reporter: Hum logon ko paanch tickets chahiye

Rohit: Mil jayega. Bike par baitho aur chalo.

We refused to go with Rohit and tried to negotiate the rates. He went away after a while, but not before giving us his mobile number. "Jab asal me chahiye hoga, call kar lena," he said while leaving.

Ramesh (Pizza delivery boy)
Ramesh (Pizza delivery boy)

Case 2
We were next accosted at Marine Drive by a person who identified himself as Ramesh and told us that he used to sell pizza at Wankhede stadium. While he was talking to us, we spotted his ID card hanging out of the pocket of his jeans with the name Amar on it.

Ramesh: Kitna chahiye?
Reporter: We need six tickets

Ramesh: Ruko, main pooch leta hoon…

Ramesh called someone on the phone and asked if there were tickets. The person must have said yes, so Ramesh turned to us and said each ticket would cost us Rs 3,500.

Reporter: Bahut jyada bol rahe ho, yaar
Ramesh: Itna toh lete hi hain

While talking to us, Ramesh claimed that the last time (he did not clarify when) someone had asked him for 200 tickets, but cancelled at the last moment. He said he then sold the entire lot outside the stadium. When we asked about the origin of the tickets, he said, "Mil jata hai bhai, tumko kya karna hai?" Ramesh then left after giving us his mobile number.

Vijay IPL and his friend
Vijay IPL and his friend

Case 3
At Marine Drive promenade, where we were discussing tickets, a man sitting under a tree, said, "Come sit down if you want a ticket." There were a group of people sitting with him and one of them identified himself as Vijay IPL.
Vijay rolled a cigarette while telling us he had four tickets.

Reporter: Hum logon ko che se saath tickets chahiye. Ho payega kya?
Vijay IPL: Haan, ho jayega

Reporter: Kitna loge
Vijay IPL: Rs 3,500 for Rs 800 tickets

Vijay IPL also showed us a ticket of Level 1 in the Sunil Gavaskar Pavilion. When we asked him whether it was authentic, he said, "Bhai, abhi ja ke check kara lo, nakli maal nahi bechta." We left him saying, "We will come back if we need the tickets."

Pravin (Tout)
Pravin (Tout)

Case 4
Inside one of the gullies, off Marine Drive, we spotted a few people talking about tickets. On seeing us, they thought we were looking for tickets. One of them, who identified himself as Pravin, approached us and asked if we needed some.

Pravin: Kitna tickets chahiye?
Reporter: Aath (8) tickets chahiye

Pravin: Mere pass Sachin Tendulkar stand ka Level 1 ka tickets hai jiska actual keemat Rs 2,500 hai par main Rs 3,500 se 4,000 leta hu ek ticket pe. Aap Rs 3,500 de do.

Unidentifed (Chanawalla)
Unidentifed (Chanawalla)

Case 5
Back at the promenade, a vendor selling chana jor garam, who did not tell us his name, asked us if we wanted tickets. He said he could arrange them for R4,000 each.

Reporter: Bahut jyada hai
Chanawala: Bhai ye main nahi leta, tickets kisi aur ke pass hain. Mujhe bola agar kisiko chahiye toh batana.

Reporter: Aap ko kitna milta hai har ticket par?
Chanawala: Woh log mujhe Rs 100-Rs 200 per ticket dete hain. Kama lete hain bhai, koi koi bees hazaar rupaye [Rs 20,000] per match kama lete hain.

Reporter: Badhiya hai. Humari madat kar do, kuch kam karo paise mein.
Chanawala: Nahi bhai, jyada nahi bola hoon, thodi der baad yahi ticket aur keemat mein jayega.

Case 6
Pretending that the price was too high, we started walking away. A minor, who must have been watching the exchange, approached us 10 metres away.

Boy: Ticket mil jayenge, ye chanawale ke peeche mat pado
Reporter: Kitne mein mil jayega?

Boy: Affordable price mein doonga, hume bhi kamana hai. Abhi jo ticket Rs 3,000 mein bech raha hoon, woh thodi der baad Churchgate station ke paas R8,000 mein milega.
Reporter: Nahi bhai, itna mehenga nahi chahiye, Rs 3,000 thik hai

Boy: Aur batao, agle match ke liye chahiye kya?
Reporter: Haan, 25 ticket mil sakte hain kya?

Boy: Kyun nahi, aap call karo match ke do din pehle, arrange ho jayega
Reporter: Ye kahaan se nikaalte ho tickets itne number mein?

Boy: Mil jata hai, kuch andar se (stadium authorities) mil jata hai

He claimed the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) quota tickets get sold in black. When we asked him who his source was, he refused to tell us.

Unidentifed (Chanawalla)

Also Read: Shocker at Wankhede

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