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Over 1,000 cricket fans have had their Ashes tickets cancelled after an investigation into second hand sales on the web.

Cricket Australia boss James Sunderland said fans that had bought tickets from auction sites could face being turned away if they turn up to the matches this winter.

The group has cancelled 1300 tickets after discovering that touts had been taking advantage of high demand by selling them online.

Where people purchase tickets from a scalper at a premium, they're in breach of the terms and conditions, and we will, where appropriate, cancel those tickets,” Sutherland said in a news conference.

The lead up to the Ashes is seeing an escalating row over online sales of unused tickets – one that could impact auction sites such as EBay, as well as fans planning to travel to Australia.

Cricket Australia said 1100 of the tickets had been put back on the market but it is yet to decide what to do with the remaining 200.

It also expects to unearth more scalped tickets before the Ashes series starts in three months, and says more cancellations could follow.

Spokesman Peter Young told NDTV.com: "If people took the risk and bought tickets off sites such as eBay, there is a risk they will turn up to the ground and not be able to get in. The message is simple: If you are holding a ticket you purchased through the Internet, you could be holding a dud."

Earlier this month, Chelsea and Manchester United backed a new web venture called Viagogo.com which offers an official online exchange for sports tickets.

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Published 31 August, 2006 by Richard Maven

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