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12th February 2009

ECB takes action to protect cricket fans from ticket touts

–          Supporters advised not to buy tickets from unofficial sources
–          Enforcement action targeted at touts and cancelling tickets 
–          Warnings of risks of forgeries and ticket scams

Demand for tickets for this year’s matches between England and Australia has been unprecedented. Unfortunately the popularity of this event has created an opportunity for secondary ticketing agents and touts to seek to price out genuine cricket fans and families by selling on tickets for many times face value.

The ECB is committed to doing all it can to prevent touting. The ticket prices set for the npower Test Matches and NatWest Series One Day Internationals are well below the levels that could be secured on the open market.

The ECB and the international grounds staging the npower Ashes Series covering npower Tests, NatWest One Day Internationals and NatWest Twenty20 matches have established a ticketing action group to specifically address this issue. The group will co-ordinate action and share best practice in the fight against touting this Summer.

The following advice is offered to all supporters who may be considering buying tickets from Secondary Agents and ticket touts

1. Do not buy tickets from an unauthorised sources as you may be refused entry and lose your money
All tickets sold for the Ashes are subject to terms and conditions that prevent their onward sale or transfer. Any ticket which is transferred becomes void and supporters who buy tickets from touts and present these tickets at the Venues risk being refused entry to the match.  Only purchase a ticket from the authorised ticket seller. Any supporter who is caught reselling tickets risks losing the right to buy tickets in the future.

2. Enforcement action and surveillance is being applied to the secondary ticketing market.
The ECB and international grounds are applying a number of measures to track and cancel tickets that are being touted. This includes monitoring sales for multiple applications and the employment of a specialist monitoring surveillance activity on on-line auction sites.

On match days, spectators may be subject to spot checks to ensure that the person entering the ground is the person who purchased the ticket.
3. Secondary ticket sales are increasingly found to be fronts for forgeries and ticket scams
There is increasing evidence that the secondary ticket market and touting is being infiltrated by criminal operations who don’t even have tickets to sell. This activity plagued the recent 2008 Beijing Olympics and has affected other major sports. The only safe way to buy a ticket is from the authorised ticket seller.

4. Ticket Touting email hotline set up by ECB to assist fight against touting
Cricket Supporters can help in the fight against touting. If you see or hear of tickets being touted, or can provide evidence of people touting tickets, then please report it immediately to the ECB at the following email address:

The ECB was one of the founder members of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Ticket Tout Summits and has given evidence to Government and the Culture, Media and Sport select committee on the need for there to be stricter rules against the touting of tickets.

Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has agreed to review the law as it stands for major sporting events and the ECB will continue to work with him to find a solution that provides better protection for cricket fans.

There are still tickets available for England’s NatWest Series ODI against Australia at Riverside on Sunday 20 September.  Tickets can be purchased online or directly from the Box Office by calling 0844 466 4466.