CO-HOST of the Mason and Guest Show Dr Andrew Forde said West Indians should be given first preference in acquiring tickets for the 2024 T20 World Cup, which will be held in the Caribbean and the US from June 1–29.
A Cricket West Indies media release on February 1, said the launch of the public ticket ballot gives fans "around the world a fair and equitable chance to apply for tickets to the biggest cricket carnival spectacle ever.
"For fans wanting to watch their favourite teams and players in action at some of the most iconic cricket stadiums in the world, the ballot is the best opportunity for them to get tickets to all the matches they want, at the venues they want and for the ticket category they want."
World Cup matches will be hosted in Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent and Antigua. In the US, matches will be played in New York, Florida and Texas.
On the Mason and Guest Show on Tuesday in Barbados, Dr Forde said Caribbean fans are disappointed that they are not being given special rights in getting tickets.
He said, "We are such a small region compared to larger countries and I can tell you it has created a big firestorm and discontent within the region and especially in Barbabos and elsewhere."
World Cup tournament director Fawwaz Baksh, who was on the show, disagreed.
Baksh said, "I think it will be more of a free-for-all all to go without a ballot system."
Dr Forde responded by saying that West Indians are anticipating the tournament and organisers don't have to worry about tickets going unsold. "There are a proportion of tickets within each venue in the Caribbean that we could reasonably say will be taken up by West Indians. Let's say a venue has 12,000 (capacity), we could easily say that 1,000 tickets will be bought by West Indians and have 1,000 tickets for sale in a more culturally regulated way that we could acquire and have the rest on this statistical ballot."
Dr Forde reiterated that the host region or country should be given the best opportunity to attend matches.
"I believe that it could be done and I don't think saying that this is the equality for the whole world to get tickets suffices for people who live in a region and have a right to see a tournament. I could see those that are not taken up are released to the ballot later."
Dr Forde said it is a "slap in the face" for West Indians who have only hosted a few major cricket tournaments in the past.
Baksh asked, "What happens if you hold back those 1,000 tickets (for West Indians) and they don't get sold?"
Dr Forde believes they would be sold, but Baksh believes that is not a guarantee.
Former West Indies opener Philo Wallace contributed to the discussion, saying some mature cricket fans may not be capable of buying tickets online for the tournament. "What about the layman who does not have internet or a credit card who wants to watch some cricket and these are things that we have to take into consideration," Wallace said.