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Mohali waits to welcome neighbours with open arms

cricket Updated: Mar 28, 2011 00:30 IST
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Every time India and Pakistan face each other on cricketing field, it's like war in the middle and fans from both sides want their team to win at any cost.

Off the field scenario, however, is in complete contrast to it. All one hears are the stories of bonhomie between the diehard fans. The contest between the two nations won’t be an exception in the regard, what with hundreds of fans wanting to cross over for the match, and the locals making preparations to welcome them with open arms.

The chance to track down their roots in India is another irresistible temptation for many visitors from Pakistan. “After the match, I would like to go to Jalandhar and see the village where my mother was born,” said the wife of PCB marketing director Tariq Hakim.

She said there’s a mad scramble across the border to get hold of a ticket and visa for the match. “We have been inundated with requests to arrage tickets back home. The excitement in Pakistan is as huge as in India,” she said.

Not everyone, however, has been as lucky and privileged as her to get a ticket. “I have flown down from Chicago, but have not been able to get a ticket,” said Bashir Khan.

While getting ticket will certainly prove a futile exercise for many, finding accommodation — even though all hotels are packed to capacity — probably won't be as many local residents have offered to provide accommodation to the visitors.

“I am really looking forward to Pakistan nationals staying here with us. I have offered to have them stay at my residence,” said Rita, Additional Advocate General, Punjab. Going a step further, many residents have also planned shopping jaunts for their guests.