25 Feb 2011

Cricket fans charged by police

5:43 am on 25 February 2011

Police used bamboo sticks to beat back cricket fans trying to buy tickets in Bangalore as World Cup organisers criticised Indian officials over growing ticketing chaos.

Fans queueing for seats at India's game with England on Sunday were baton-charged by police as huge crowds pushed towards the gates of the M. Chinnaswamy stadium.

Several people were injured and taken away on stretchers as police attempted to keep order among the throng, which the domestic Press Trust of India news agency said numbered at least 30,000 people.

All 7,000 tickets put on sale sold out within hours, leaving many disappointed fans who had waited at the ground overnight.

A letter from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to organising committee chairman Sharad Pawar was leaked airing "serious concerns" over distribution and sales of tickets for the tournament.

There was particular concern over plans to sell the remaining 4,000 tickets available for the April 2nd final in Mumbai over the counter.