Social media platform Facebook is being used to scalp tickets for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches taking place at the National Stadium of Karachi.
Most of the tickets, especially those in the lower price range, sold out quickly in less than a day. There have been several reports of scalpers reselling the tickets at a higher price ever since the PSL came to Pakistan and this season has been no different.
However, this time around the scalping is being done almost in broad daylight.
On a Facebook group called “Karachi Buy or Sell”, a user has posted an image showing five tickets for PSL’s eliminator and final available for sale. The Rs500 tickets, which have the price printed prominently on them, were going for Rs2,000.
The four-fold increase in price seemed to be the norm on other groups as well, with a user selling three tickets for the Waqar Hasan Enclosure for Rs4,000 apiece even though the printed price for them stands at Rs1,000.
Tickets for the title-decider on Sunday are going at even more exorbitant rates. A cricket fan from Karachi, who requested to not be named, said he bought the Rs500 ticket for Rs3,800.
“I couldn’t get the ticket online or through any of the TCS centres as they were all sold out within a day or two. I saw a person selling tickets on a [Facebook] group and got in touch,” he says.
Facebook isn’t the only medium being used to scalp tickets though, with popular messaging application WhatsApp also being used by certain sellers.
Messages, such as the one screengrabbed below, were frequently received through different groups dedicated to conversations related to cricket or other sports.
The minimum priced tickets of Rs500 are being sold for up to Rs2,900 and tickets originally rated at Rs8,000 are being sold for as high as Rs14,000.
To avoid this issue, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had put in place a policy of allowing a maximum of five tickets on every Citizen National Identity Card (CNIC).
The tickets purchased showed the ID number on it as well, and reportedly cricket fans going to watch the match are being asked to show their IDs before entering the stadium.
Security analyst Norbert Almeida, however, believes that the reselling of these tickets doesn’t pose any security risk. “It’s a high-profile event. There is demand. Everybody wants to attend it. Scalping happens all around the world and it is an illegal trade,” he says.
Almeida does not think the policy of allowing five tickets to be purchased under one CNIC could pose a security threat. “If you are allowing people to get five tickets from one CNIC, it’s to ensure that everyone has a fair chance of getting tickets rather than a few people buying them all,” he said.
“It means 5,000 people could have purchased the tickets and not just one person buying all 25,000 tickets and then selling it in the black [market].”
PCB wants help of law enforcement agencies
The PCB, as expected, has condemned that tickets are being sold in the black market and hopes action is taken against it in future PSL editions.
“We discourage and condemn the illegal selling of these tickets,” said board’s media director Sami-ul-Hasan Burney. “We need to put a system in place by bringing on board law enforcement agencies [to formalise a policy in this regard].”
Burney says the PCB would like to urge cricket fans not to buy tickets illegally. “By purchasing tickets through such means, people are encouraging these scalpers to do this in future events as well.”