Mohali: Excited spectators, draped in tricolours and holding placards and posters, started queuing up at the gates of the PCA stadium since morning as the city geared up to host the high-voltage World Cup semifinal clash between India and Pakistan amid unprecedented security here.
After a heavy downpour and thunderstorm last night, Mohali woke up to a bright and sunny morning to provide the perfect setting for the clash which has generated tremendous media frenzy.
With just hours to go for the high-octane clash, the PCA stadium resembled a fortress with heavy security deployed in and around the venue. With the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani and a host of other dignitaries from both the countries attending the game, security officials were taking no chances and yet another thorough security check was conducted this morning.
Hundreds of commandos were deployed inside the stadium since morning and the entire VIP enclosure, where the two Prime Ministers and other dignitaries will seat, was sanitised. Spectators were advised to reach the stadium early so that they are not caught in traffic bottlenecks when the VIP movements start later in the day.
Cricket fans had gathered in huge numbers around the stadium. Some Pakistani fans were also waving their country`s flags inside and outside the stadium. Ever since India made it to the the semifinals, cricket fever has gripped Mohali and all tickets were sold out well in advance. At least 15 people have been caught for black marketing of tickets.