CA warns of scalping

People thinking of purchasing tickets for this year's Ashes series in Australia via the internet or through classified ads should beware that they may well be buying cancelled tickets.

Tickets for November's highly anticipated Ashes series went on sale to the Australian Cricket Family (ACF) on Wednesday June 1 and there was an unprecedented rush on sales.

180,000 tickets for Tests around the country were sold by 5pm on the first day. The greatest demand was in Sydney where ACF-allocated tickets for the first four days of the Ashes match at the Sydney Cricket Ground sold out.

"It is a reflection of the public passion and level of anticipation for the Ashes series," said Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland.

"What we've seen today is an extraordinary response from the Australian Cricket Family for those tickets,"

The ACF is a club created by Cricket Australia to ensure the bulk of tickets go to cricket-loving Australians. People registering were required to supply an Australian address (as tickets will be posted to them) and phone number to prove their Australian bona fides.

Tickets for the ACF went on sale on Wednesday morning and were only available via phone or internet but due to the frenzied rush many customers weren't able to secure tickets as phone lines were constantly engaged and ticket-selling agencies' websites crashed.

Sutherland appealed to the people looking to secure tickets through the ACF sales to be patient and persevere.

"We understand that many people have had some frustration in getting through on the telephone or on the internet and when you have a look at the magnitude of the response it is understandably - we sympathise with some of the problems people may have had but at the same time encourage those people to be patient," Sutherland said.

"We've still got 480,000 tickets left available for the ACF for international matches this season for all venues and if the members of the ACF do exercise that patience they will get the tickets they are looking for."

AFC members will have until June 19 to purchase the priority tickets at which time any unsold seats will be pooled with the tickets that have been allocated for general release and put on sale to the general public.

Sutherland warned that Cricket Australia will be keeping close tabs on websites and newspaper classifieds and may exercise the right to cancel any tickets that have been re-sold at a premium.

"It is a real buyer beware situation," warned Sutherland.

"The issue for us is tracking re-sold tickets but we have taken advice from experts on how to do that."

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