Politicians, corporates, fans jostle for tickets
Chandigarh: With arch-rivals India and Pakistan set to clash in a high-voltage semifinal at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium , politicians, corporates and fans, including those from across the border are jostling for tickets that are already been sold out.
Among the corporates -- Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani -- will be one of the high profile industrialists, who is expected to be at Mohali to catch the action, PCA sources said.
Many politicians from around the country, besides those from Punjab and Haryana, are also making a beeline, while many Bollywood stars are also suppose to come and watch the match at the 28,000 capacity stadium, the sources added.
The PCA joint secretary G S Walia said they are expecting a number of guests from Pakistan for the match.
The sources said that the PCA officials had been busy since morning today receiving phone calls from across the border for tickets.
Despite being down with viral fever, PCA President I S Bindra also spent some time in the stadium today to ensure that everything was in place for the much-hyped match.
Majority hotels in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula have already been booked to capacity, with only a few accommodations left.
In Chandigarh`s Hotel Taj and government-owned Mountview, 50 per cent of the rooms have been reserved for the playing teams, the officials of the ICC, BCCI, the PCA and the corporate clients, with some bookings been made nearly two months in advance.
Meanwhile, in the black market tickets are being sold at a premium.
"The tickets for Rs 250 are available anywhere between Rs 2,000-Rs 2200 as of today, Rs 500 tickets are available for Rs 3500 plus, while Rs 1,000 ticket can only be bought for Rs 8,000," Sahil Kapoor, a local student, who was trying to purchase the ticket from near the stadium, claimed.
He also said that an agent had contacted him and conveyed the rates to him. A Punjab police official said they were keeping a watch on the black marketeers and would take appropriate action if anybody was found to be indulging in such illegal practices.
"I know that any India-Pakistan match is a big game, but people are treating this semi-final match as final of the World Cup," said Shivani, who was amongst those waiting outside the stadium today, hoping to get a ticket.
Shivani, a college student, added that like her many of her friends are also desperate to watch the match and see their local hero Yuvraj Singh, who was in terrific form, in action.
Although Pakistan have not been able to beat India in the World Cup history, but have managed to defeat them at Mohali in two previous encounters in 1999 and 2007.
Tight security has been put in place for the match, with 2,000 cops to be deployed in and around the stadium to guard it.