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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 June 2006, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Aussies look into tickets 'farce'
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland
Sutherland has come under fire after the tickets fiasco
Cricket Australia is to investigate problems which left thousands of fans frustrated in their bid to buy tickets for this year's Ashes Tests.

Phone and internet systems have caused delays, while some tickets have been put up for sale on internet sites at inflated prices.

There have also been suggestions that England fans might have bought some.

Writing to Australian fans, CA chief executive James Sutherland apologised for "problems with the system we used".

But Brett Judd, who oversaw the sale of 1.5m tickets for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, blamed Cricket Australia for their "farcical" approach.

He said the cricket board should have done a deal similar to one he had with sites like eBay to prevent tickets being sold above face value.

"If it was me, I would have balloted in some way, so it was an equal playing field, or I would have staggered it out," he told The Sunday Age.

"Simply dumping it on the market probably didn't afford the best opportunity to sell in a nice, orderly manner."

A Ticketmaster spokeswoman said the delays were caused by the need to verify an identification code sent to members of the Australian Cricket Family, the official supporters club.

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