Cricket fans from across the border are set to flock to Indian cities. At least 500 Pakistanis are expected to travel to each of the venues for the three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals to be played between the traditional foes in December-January.
A four-member Pakistani recce team, currently in India to inspect the facilities and security at these venues, has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to reserve at least 500 tickets at every centre for Pakistani fans. Besides, the PCB has sought 50 VIP tickets.
The request, of course, is different for Delhi, which will host the final ODI on January 6, 2013. The PCB wants 1,000 tickets for its fans in the national capital and 100 VVIP tickets.
“This is a Friendship Series and we are hoping for warm interaction between the fans. Pakistani fans will be here in numbers and we hope for a great carnival,” said Nadeem Sarwar, spokesperson for the touring delegation. Bangalore (T20I on December 25), Ahmedabad (T20I on December 27), Chennai (1st ODI on December 30) and Kolkata (ODI on January 3) are other cities that will host matches against Pakistan.
According to the PCB official, the recce team sought some facilities for the fans. “We wanted hotels to be demarcated for Pakistani fans and for them to be provided certain concessions so that they don’t face too many hurdles while they are in India,” Sarwar said.
The touring team completed its inspection in Kolkata and reached Bangalore on Monday. The team was happy with the arrangements at the two centres. “We have no reason to be not satisfied. Everything is fine,” said Sarwar. “Javagal Srinath and other Karnataka State Cricket Association officials were there and we had a very useful meeting.”
On Tuesday, the PCB team will be in Chennai where it wants to interact with BCCI president N Srinivasan. “The tour could be possible only because of Srinivasan’s effort and our chairman Zaka Ashraf’s initiative. We had a meeting with Mr Jagmohan Dalmiya in Kolkata and we are looking forward to meeting Mr Srinivasan,” said Sarwar.
The PCB team is accompanied by two BCCI officials, chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty and anti-corruption official Ravi Sawani.