Two more trains for Indian fans
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will run two additional cross-border trains to and from India to bring nearly 8,000 cricket fans for this month’s historic cricket series between the two neighbours, officials said on Tuesday.
Pakistan Railways official Iqbal Khatri said the extra services would link Lahore and the northern Indian town of Attari. “We expect both the trains to arrive in Lahore full of Indian cricket fans,” Mr Khatri said.
Road transport officials have yet to decide on how many more buses will be put on to ferry Indian cricket fans from its border crossing at Wagah, following a request from the Indian government. “There are a number of proposals being discussed but nothing is finalised yet,” Malik Habib, managing director Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), said.
First one-day a sellout: Tickets for the opening match of the first Indian cricket tour of Pakistan in 15 years have been sold out but fans are demanding more, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Tuesday. “All 23,000 tickets sold at booths have been sold and as expected, fans are still demanding tickets,” PCB General Manager Cricket Operations Zakir Khan said in Karachi where the first of five one-day matches will take place on Saturday. Another 6,000 tickets on sale over the Internet had also sold out, he added. Another 4,000-plus tickets are reserved for special guests and VIPs.
Karachi’s National Stadium has a capacity of 33,177 and will be packed when the one-day series begins there on Saturday. The PCB faced huge criticism over clashes during the first day of ticket sales last Sunday, when frustrated fans pelted police with stones in frustration at the small number of booths to cater for the thousands queuing up.
Several people were injured after police baton-charged the crowd. The PCB had to suspend ticket sales until Monday. After increasing the number of outlets sales proceeded smoothly. Ticket sales for the second match, in Rawalpindi on March 16, will start on Wednesday. The one-day series will be followed by three Tests at Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi. —AFP