It is not our fault: Hyderabad Cricket Association chief Azharuddin on Gymkhana stampede

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  23 Sep 2022 12:00 PM GMT
It is not our fault: Hyderabad Cricket Association chief Azharuddin on Gymkhana stampede

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) is not responsible for the Gymkhana ground fiasco, said HCA president and former cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin. "It is not HCA's fault," he said. However, the Begumpet police have booked HCA members for cheating and negligence.

The stampede-like situation at Gymkhana ground on 22 September in which close to 20 people were injured reflected the mismanagement, lack of planning, and no coordination between the HCA, its contractor Paytm, and the local police. This resulted in the halting the sale of tickets.

As many as 20 cricket fans were injured and a couple of them fainted, when a crowd at the offline kiosk of Hyderabad Cricket Association's contractor Paytm went berserk. The Hyderabad police resorted to minor lathi charges to bring the crowd under control while the traffic was thrown out of gear on 22 September afternoon.

"When tickets are being sold online, how can HCA track it or be held responsible? It does not come under the purview of HCA. I cannot look into the sale of tickets. How can I or the HCA track if tickets are being sold online or in black? All arrangements are in place and we have done our best. The maintenance of the stadium is being taken care of. I profusely apologise for what has happened, my thoughts are with the people. HCA is taking care of the treatment. But how is the committee responsible for it?" Azharuddin asked.

Online sale of tickets began on 15 September, however, it was shut 10 minutes after it went live. Following this, HCA announced that Paytm via a counter installed at Gymkhana grounds in Secunderabad would sell tickets.

What followed this announcement was total chaos. Cricket fans began gathering at the Gymkhana stadium in the wee hours of Thursday. Owing to no queue discipline and no coordination with the local police authority, the crowd went berserk.

Begumpet police booked HCA for cheating, negligence

The Hyderabad police have booked Hyderabad Cricket Association's president Mohammad Azharuddin and other members following the Gymkhana ground stampede. The cops acted on a complaint filed by an injured sub-inspector and an injured woman. According to the complainant, it is alleged that HCA sold high stake tickets in black.

Speaking to NewsMeter, inspector of police, Begumpet P. Srinivas Rao said, "A high stake of T20 cricket match tickets were sold in black, alleged the lady. On Thursday when HCA's appointed contractor Paytm opened a counter in Gymkhanna grounds in Secunderabad, the crowd turned berserk when a man claimed that only 3,000 tickets were left while the rest had been sold out. Following this, the crowd turned restive leading to the stampede-like situation."

The total capacity of the Uppal stadium is 34,000 seats of which HCA has a seat share of 4,600. There are around 40 VIP houses that can accommodate close to 8-10 people. The remaining 29,600 is sold online and offline. The highest cost of a ticket is Rs. 10,000 and the cheapest Rs. 850.

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