Cricket ticket countdown starts - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cricket ticket countdown starts

By Adam Cooper 19/06/2007 07:48:18 PM Comments (0)

Cricket fans have been urged to again pledge their faith in a loyalty program to attend next summer's international matches despite being frustrated by last year's Ashes ticketing fiasco.

Tickets for Australia's coming Test and triangular limited-overs series against Sri Lanka and India and the one-day series against New Zealand will go on sale early next month, but only to members of the Australian Cricket Family, an online registry.

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland has urged fans to sign up to the registry so they could get first crack at the tickets, which go on sale in early July.

Australia's 2007-08 home season features 50 scheduled days of international cricket, including two Tests against Sri Lanka, four against India and the Chappell-Hadlee one-day series against New Zealand.

Last year's ticket sales were a debacle for CA, as thousands of fans missed out on seats for the Ashes series because telephone hotlines and websites crashed in the stampede for seats.

Sutherland could not guarantee that members of the online registry would get the seats they wanted, but with more tickets available this summer - about 2.2 million in all - and demand not to be as high, he was hopeful fans could be satisfied.

"Tickets will still be very much sought after," he said.

"But we learned a lot from the process last year and we're very much looking forward to a really decent, strong roll-up in membership of the Australian Cricket Family.

"That is the best opportunity for fans to get access to tickets."

Fans have until Sunday to register with the Australian Cricket Family or risk waiting until early August to purchase general public tickets.

Members who signed up last year do not have to re-register.

CA kicked off the countdown to the summer with Bollywood dancers and the launch of its `Hungry For It' theme for next summer, which features three of the four World Cup semi-finalists.

Other highlights include the MCG hosting the first Australia-India Test, a return to Adelaide hosting its Test over the Australia Day long weekend and a Twenty20 game between Australia and India on February 1.

New Australian coach Tim Nielsen did not expect to have too many troubles lifting the side for the summer given Ricky Ponting's men achieved both major goals last campaign, regaining the Ashes and winning the World Cup.

"The fact we're playing against India, especially in a Test series where there's massive publicity and massive interest in the Indian country, is a big series for Australia," Nielsen said.

"We had a great victory in 2004 winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy back for the first time in 30 years (in India), so we want to make sure we hang on to that trophy and go over there and defend it again next time.

"Once we get into the swing of things, the players have had a good break and they'll come back fresh and that will be a real chance for them to go a million miles an hour."

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