Even as heavy rains cast doubts over the fate of the fifth ODI between India and Australia here Saturday, cricket enthusiasts today waited in long queues in front of Barabati stadium to purchase tickets for the match.
Even as the city has been witnessing heavy downpour for the last three days and more rains predicted in next two days casting doubts over the fate of the match, diehard enthusiasts arrived here since last night to stand in the queue for the tickets.
Although the ticket counters opened half-an-hour later than the scheduled time, more than 12,000 tickets were sold today, sources said, adding the remaining 4000 tickets would be sold tomorrow morning.
The stadium has a seating capacity of more than 45,000, but only 16, 537 tickets were up for grabs for the public from counters. As many as 4,451 tickets were sold online and a little over 12,000 tickets were sold to OCA affiliated units of the state earlier.
Meanwhile, OCA authorities are leaving no stone unturned to keep Barabati grounds match-fit on Saturday. In an innovative way, the organisers are draining out water from the outfield by digging four wells around the ground.
Efforts were also on to keep the pitch dry by providing a three layer cover. Last night, rainwater gushed into the pitch. The ground staff were pressed to remove the water by using sponge.
"If the rains spare us at least for a single day on Friday, we will get the ground match-fit on Saturday," said an OCA official.
Both the teams are slated to arrive at Bhubaneswar tomorrow after their match at Ranchi. The teams would stay in Bhubaneswar and come here for practice on Friday, sources said.