‘Enjoy from your homes, please’: Virat Kohli’s ‘ticket’ disclaimer as India gear up for home World Cup

Virat Kohli has urged his friends not to spam him with tickets request during the World Cup.

With just 24 hours left for the world’s biggest cricketing carnival the World Cup, star India batter Virat Kohli has made a humble plea to his friends and acquaintances, requesting them not to bug him with tickets requests during the tournament. India open their World Cup campaign against Australia in Chennai on Sunday, and while most of the Chepauk games are sold out, it is nothing new for cricketers to be burdened by ticket demands. With Team India expected to take its best shot at winning the World Cup, Kohli does not want any distractions and has urged the public to follow the games from the comfort of their homes.

“As we approach the World Cup, I would humbly like to let all my friends know to not request me for tickets all through the tournament. Enjoy from your homes please,” Kohli wrote in his Instagram story followed by a laugh emoji.

Kohli is far from the first cricketer to grapple with an onslaught of ticket requests. Noted former cricketers like Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, and Ashish Nehra have candidly shared their experiences of being besieged by friends, all clamoring for them to secure tickets for big matches, including the 2011 World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan.

Kohli’s wife and Bollywood star Anushka Sharma shared her husband’s post on her Insta, adding: “And let me just add… please don’t request me to help if your messages go unanswered. Thank you for your understanding.”

In an effort to manage the ticketing process and avoid fan frenzy, the ICC had unveiled a phased approach for ticket releases, specifically for India matches. The rollout plan commenced on August 25 when tickets for all non-India matches and non-India warm-up matches became available for purchase. This meant that fans could secure tickets for matches involving England, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and the Netherlands, excluding India, on the same day.

However, matters were a lot more intricate when it came to India matches. The ICC chose to segment the ticket sales based on the respective venues. Sales for India’s warm-up matches kicked off on August 30, with main round tickets becoming accessible from August 31. Notably, the highly anticipated India vs Pakistan match tickets were released for booking from September 3.

Obtaining tickets for World Cup matches had previously posed a significant challenge for the Indian public. They had to endure lengthy digital queues, often leading to frustrating rejections. The official ticketing platform for the 2023 Cricket World Cup, BookMyShow, encountered severe performance issues, prompting the ICC to implement a more efficient process. On September 6, the BCCI revealed the release of an additional 400,000 tickets as part of its second phase, with sales commencing on September 8.

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