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50 percent increase in Australian visa application ahead of World Cup

New Delhi: Australia has witnessed a 50 percent increase in visa applications from India in January and the number is only going to increase with the Cricket World Cup beginning tomorrow, said Australian High Commissioner Patrick Suckling.

More than 12,000 visa applications were received last month, a fifty percent increase from the corresponding month last year.

"Anyway we have thousands and thousands of Indians travelling to Australia and for World Cup we are seeing a huge interest, huge demand. In January alone, more than 12000 Indians applied for the visa, which is 50 percent more than last year. We have a got a lot applications coming in every day," Suckling told PTI today.

A joint visa of Australia and New Zealand is on offer from January 26 to April 5.

The two countries are hosting the mega event after 23 years. India play four of their six group games in Australia and remaining in New Zealand.

New Zealand is expecting around 10,000 Indians during the Feb 14-March 29 tournament.

"We saw a big increase in tourism from India last year. It was about 20 percent increase. Specifically for World Cup it is hard to tell at this point as there is a joint visa in place. We would calculate the exact figures after the tournament. We are expecting more than 10,000 tourists visiting New Zealand alone," said New Zealand High Commissioner Grahame Morton.

"It is a conservative figure as it is a long tournament," he added.

Morton, a former cricketer himself, said New Zealand fans will be very disappointed if there team doesn't do well in the competition.

"I would love to see New Zealand win. Realistically, they have a good chance. People would be very disappointed if they don't make the semis. We have already played in six World Cup semifinals and it is time we go beyond that and in the final anything can happen," said Morton.

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