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Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Cricket World Cup: Rush for tickets leads to violence

An Indian policeman runs towards a crowd with a lathi stick outside the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur on March 8 2011
The clashes occurred outside the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur

Police in Nagpur have been involved in confrontations with cricket fans queuing for tickets to see India's match against South Africa on 12 March.

On Tuesday the police charged crowds outside the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium with sticks.

Fans had been waiting since Monday evening and some are said to have broken barriers and rushed the ticket offices, prompting the action.

There have been reports of minor injuries in the Indian press.

The ICC would not comment on the matter, while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could not be reached for comment.

It is not the first time there have been such scenes in India, after similar violent clashes between spectators and police occurred in Bangalore on 24 February.

On that occasion tens of thousands of fans had camped outside the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to purchase tickets for the match between India and England that took place on 27 February.

There was violence when they were told the 7,000 tickets allocated for the public had all been sold, so the police responded with baton charges.

The stadium has a capacity of 38,400.

The rest of the tickets were distributed among the ICC and clubs affiliated to local cricket associations.

Demand for tickets has been particularly high whenever India, the co-host along with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, have been playing. The final and semi-finals have also attracted huge interest.

The website selling 1,000 tickets for the World Cup final crashed when 10 million hits were recorded in only 20 minutes. A ballot system was subsequently set up to manage demand.

The Group B game with India will be important for South Africa, who are still hoping to finish top of England's group.

India, however, are the favourites to lift the trophy in April.

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see also
England & India in thrilling tie
27 Feb 11 |  England
ICC to make ticket policy changes
26 Feb 11 |  Cricket
Police defend action over fan clashes
25 Feb 11 |  Cricket

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