T and T officials defend decision to shut the gates on hundreds of ticketholders

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC- Hundreds of legitimate ticket holders were again denied entry to the Queen’s Park oval, this time for the NAGICO Super50 final between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, cricket officials here have confirmed.

The decision to shut the gates on disgruntled ticket holders has been attributed to the Fire Service personnel on duty during the final on February 15th.

A release from the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has defended the decision as necessary to avert ‘a chaotic situation’.

“… it is in this context we make reference to the hundreds who were unable to gain entry to the Oval for the final between Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados on February 15, notwithstanding being in possession of legitimate entrance tickets,” the release stated.

“We extend our sincere apologies to these supportive fans and assure them that this inconvenience was not due to over-selling of entrance tickets but the decision of the Fire Services personnel on duty to close off entry to the stands when there were seats still unoccupied”.

A year ago, 200 legitimate ticket holders were denied entry into the Queen’s Park Oval for the climax of the Trinidad and Tobago leg of the Caribbean T 20 tournament.

The disappointed fans were turned away as stands appeared filled on account of unruly patrons and counterfeit tickets which forced officials to shut the gates.

Officials here have stressed that the decision to shut the gates on legitimate holders was aimed at safeguarding loyal ticket holders and cricket fans.

TTCB has publicly applauded the role of the country’s Minister of National Security, Gary Griffith, who “went beyond the call of duty and prevented a chaotic situation by his prompt and thoughtful intervention.”

“Within minutes of the issue being brought to his attention, Minister Griffith in consultation with Cricket Board officials and the management of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club, found a solution and initiated action which satisfied the hundreds of disgruntled loyal patrons,” the TTCB said.

“The TTCB categorically states that it purposefully under-sold the venue by 1,000 tickets, given the history of similar previous action to close the gates with fans outside the venue, and out of our concern for the comfort and welfare of our loyal ticket holders and cricket fans.”

Barbados defeated Trinidad and Tobago to be crowned new champions of the Super50 tournament.

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