Mohali semi-final: No entry for Pakistan fans?

Published: March 27, 2011
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ICC refuses to take blame as enthusiasts, PCB fail to get tickets.

ICC refuses to take blame as enthusiasts, PCB fail to get tickets.

KARACHI: 

As arch-rivals Pakistan and India gear up for the semi-final clash, die-hard Pakistan cricket fans are having a hard time getting tickets to watch the match at the stadium in Mohali.

According to the organisers at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium, Mohali, where the match is scheduled for March 30, tickets were sold out soon after it became apparent that India might play Pakistan in the semi-final. The stadium can hold 28,000 people of which, PCA officials said, 16,500 tickets were sold in record time. The rest, they said, had been bought by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its guests and officials.

“I am deeply disappointed because I will not be able to catch the action live,” said shop-owner Rizwan Abbasi. “I ran from pillar to post to get tickets and even contacted the Indian High Commission but to no avail.”

“We are as deserving as any Indian fan because we could have hosted the game had the ICC not removed us from the [host] list,” said Asad Muslim, a cellular company executive. “There is a bias towards us and our authorities should raise their voice against it.”

“We wanted to go support our team which is our right but I am utterly dejected with the way the organisers have deprived us of it,” said Shahid Rao, another desperate fan.

Helpless PCB

While fans have tried and failed, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is also having trouble getting tickets for dignitaries.

“We wanted to buy tickets for top dignitaries but no tickets are available,” PCB spokesperson Nadeem Sarwar said. “We are trying to arrange some but haven’t received a convincing reply from the organisers yet.”

ICC shifts blame

When Pakistan was removed as co-host of World Cup 2011, the ICC had said that it would facilitate Pakistan fans attend matches in the country’s South Asian neighbours.

But now, the ICC has refused to take the blame for unavailability of tickets.

“Tickets had been open for sale online for a considerable length of time,” ICC’s Head of Media and Communications Colin Gibson said. “Fans from other countries took their chances on the possibility of their teams’ matches and bought tickets in advance. The same should have been done by Pakistan fans,” he said.

Indian fans

The situation isn’t any easier for Indian fans it seems, as hundreds of people were seen queuing at the ground on Saturday despite PCA’s announcement on Tuesday that the 14,000 available tickets had been sold.

But some supporters simply refused to believe tickets were no longer available. “I have been coming here since Monday, but have not been able to get a ticket,” Vikas Sharma, a businessman, told the Press Trust of India.

However, there have been numerous reports of a thriving black market in tickets for the showpiece encounter with prices rocketing 10-fold.

“The tickets for 250 rupees are available at 2,200 rupees while a 1,000-rupee ticket can only be bought for 8,000 rupees,” said Mohali student Sahil Kapoor.

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP)

Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi
    Mar 27, 2011 - 10:10AM

    I have 3 tickets. Does anyone need some then drop me a line! And with a one liner: Why do you deserve it? The best answer wins.Recommend

  • Mar 27, 2011 - 10:44AM

    Hi i am sofi naseer from kashmir , i am very big fan of pak team i tried my best to get a ticket but could not get it. i know india has a very strong bating , both teams wiil try their best. i wish best of luck to my favrout team ” Pak” Recommend

  • Mar 27, 2011 - 11:00AM

    Hi i am sofi naseer from kashmir , i am very happy that after a very considrabel lapse of time india and pakistan are meeting in the same finals of ICC cricket world cup 2011. at Mohali, as we know that there is a huge intensity among the people of both the countries regarding the upcoming match. But i suggest that we shoul not take it as a war rather we should take it as a game we should support both the teams , we all know that both teams are in a very strong position , on the one hand Pakistan has a very strong bowling line up and on the other hand india has a very stong bating . both teams will try their best. i hope the said game will entertain the people of both the regions .Every body is supposed to support is his favourte team and i wish best of luck to my favroute team ” Pak”Recommend

  • Mar 27, 2011 - 2:07PM

    There is no entry for ordinary Indians also. The current rate for a Rs. 250 ticket in Black is Rs. 15000 and Rs 15000 tickets are going for as high as Rs. 100000(Acc. to Star News). Only the rich and mighty will be able to get the tickets courtesy the nexus between Touts,BCCI and ICCRecommend

  • Shamim
    Mar 27, 2011 - 3:12PM

    The tickets are trading at 1 Lakh INR. i.e. 1,90,000 Pakistani Rupees. Gilani should be happy he’s getting to watch the match. Its not for everyone you see. So before you go around shouting India is not giving you tickets, i ask, whether you really can afford it. And if you can then you would have the ticket. So use your brains, and stop whining. Recommend

  • Raj
    Mar 27, 2011 - 4:37PM

    Forget watching this match at the ground!! Unless daddy has few billions stash away and can also get one, visas!!!!
    The prices of tickets on black market are beyond reach of ordinary persons.
    So i suggest one takes a day off from work, get the food and drinks organised and chill and enjoy on TV.
    The current security measures will mean turning up at the ground at least 4-5 hours before start, and having to dump anything that security officials objects to, so not a easy mission for any die hard fan, let alone a pakistani fan on the day, especially in Mohali!!!!!Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Mar 27, 2011 - 5:55PM

    They must have given some levy to Pakistan afterall we were one of the co-hostsRecommend

  • Manjit singh
    Mar 27, 2011 - 7:53PM

    Play the match on big screen in gaddafi stadium and let the public view the match freeRecommend

  • M. Tauseef Barlas
    Mar 27, 2011 - 8:01PM

    agree with u, Raj.Recommend

  • Live & let us live.
    Mar 27, 2011 - 10:32PM

    @paki
    “…….erall we were one of the c………”
    your “we were” has got nothing to do with present.so chillx man.Recommend

  • ace
    Mar 28, 2011 - 9:15AM

    i wish wish…………………..wish wish……there was no terrorists n no war ,…love every where and peace……no idian no paki ….sadly …..may de best team win inshallah..Recommend

  • Mar 28, 2011 - 11:08AM

    Funny situation and i would highly recommend one stays home and enjoys the entire game with Family provided there is no power shutdown courtesy WAPDA.
    The idea of telecasting it on big screens in cricket stadiums across the country is not a bad one and we know PCB, so better plan at your own. :)Recommend

  • Anjan
    Mar 28, 2011 - 3:26PM

    I don understand why pakistani officials and systems is blaming our system or organisation.

    ICC cancelled pakistans chances to be host of WC coz ther r involved in terrorist activities…
    I know that common peolpe are facing the difficulty, but der gov sucks…n ultimately people are only responsible for electing and supporting gov lik dis..

    so they are suffering…

    1st they should change der gov..dere vision..der thinking..den only dey will be excepted by everyone..

    Regards,

    AnjanRecommend

  • Ehsan
    Mar 28, 2011 - 10:49PM

    @sofi naseer:
    Indian batting looks very strong and its bowling is quite good as well. I think India will win this one.Recommend

  • pakistan zindabad
    Mar 30, 2011 - 7:46AM

    so here we are again.i want to see shoaib akhtar bowling 10 overs.Recommend

  • Mushtaq
    Mar 31, 2011 - 10:49AM

    Whole pak is corrupt
    paisa hamaisha aap ko girata gai .
    Hope India will never let u ply in IPL. Recommend

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