WICB accused of discrimination…
West Indies ticket row rumbles on

Guyana Chronicle
January 23, 2004

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THE saga of the ticket tax imposed on visiting England supporters by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) continues, with claims that fans might be able to buy tickets using an Australian agency, free of any levy.

The Victoria-based company Worldwide Ticketing is only allowed to sell to Australian citizens, but there is evidence that people living in the UK will use relatives and friends to buy them on their behalf.

Paul Bowden, representing the www.WIshame.org website, told Wisden Cricinfo that it underlined the discriminatory nature of the tax. "We are already aware of many supporters who will be trying to use their Aussie contacts to secure them tickets," he said. "We have been supplied with quotes from the WICB that imply that the levy is not being applied on a discriminatory basis and we want to put this to the test. WIshame.org is making arrangements to fly two supporters out to the Caribbean when tickets go on sale there. Clearly, if we are unable to buy tickets locally, this can only add further fuel to an already raging fire."

Bowden added that all attempts to contact the West Indian board had proved fruitless, but a spokesman for the UK ticket agency said that the Australian company would not be able to supply tickets, so prospective buyers should beware.

"They do not have tickets but are operating a voucher system," he warned, "and the West Indies Board does not have such a voucher system." (Wisden Cricinfo Ltd)