Ranchi: Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's elder brother Narendra on Thursday categorically denied that his parents were provided with 'complimentary tickets' even as the host association claimed they had provided them "ample passes" for the third India-England ODI to be played here on Saturday.
"Till noon today my parents have not received any passes. What I know is that they [JSCA] have given 14 complimentary tickets to my brother-in-law [Goutam Gupta]," Narendra told PTI here on Thursday, even as JSCA secretary Rajesh Verma claimed that they have sent ample passes to Dhoni's parents.
Hitting out at the JSCA, Narendra, whose wife stood in queue to purchase a ticket of INR 1500 denomination, said that the state association had insulted their family by not mentioning their name in media for Friday's inauguration.
"For all its political turmoil that the state is infamous for, 'Mahi' is the true ambassador of the city and state. Dhoni has put Ranchi on the world map," he said. "But nowhere have the people mentioned my parents' names for the inauguration ceremony tomorrow. They might have been invited, but what's wrong in not announcing their names to the media. Don't they deserve to be named?" an angry Narendra, who is 10 years elder to the Indian skipper, asked.
Narendra credits his younger brother for setting up his business. "He may be younger, but we are not embarrassed to introduce ourselves as his brother. He has done enough for us. He is our pride and it's difficult to express in words.
"It's all luck. Even I played football at national level but Mahi has gone all the way. We all are proud of him."
Asked why did he not ask his brother to arrange passes for his family, Narendra replied: "Do I have to ask him for every petty issue. We can afford to buy tickets. [But] all my phones to JSCA were unanswered. I called everybody from president to the secretary but nobody listened took our calls. But I've acquired ticket for the match and have deleted the JSCA president's [Amitabh Chaudhury's] number," Narendra said.
"It's all because of my political affiliation with a party [AJSU]," he said. He also accused JSCA of black marketing the tickets. "You tell me how were 19,000 tickets sold out in less than seven hours from nine counters. On the first day [January 10] the counters were open from 9 am to 2 pm, but the next day everything was sold out in another hour's time. It's no secret that the tickets have gone to black markets as it's being sold at triple the amount of the tickets," he said.
Narendra was, however, happy that he would catch his brother in action through a purchased ticket. "We all have been waiting for this occasion, for him to lead the country at the home ground. It has come true. It's time to celebrate, the whole state will cheer for Dhoni on Saturday."