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Ticketless across border

cricket Updated: Mar 26, 2011 00:17 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
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"This is Pakistan's final. If Pakistan beat India, it will be like winning the World Cup. What comes after is secondary."

That's how Pakistani cricket fan Irshad Zuberi summed up Wednesday's semi-final in Mohali. But for many lovers of the sport in that country, getting a ticket to the mega event has been mission impossible.

"I have been asking friends, relatives. No one has a ticket," said Muhammad Hassan.

The Indian high commission has been pro-active in issuing visas, making a valid entry ticket to the Mohali stands the only requirement. But as of Friday, as per data from the Indian missions in Pakistan, only 29 visas had been issued.

"We have to see what happens in the next few days. As of now there is no unprecedented number of fans getting visas," an official in Delhi said.

Chances of getting a visa after the weekend are slim as the mission takes at least a day to process it.

The lucky few who will be traveling to India are mostly corporate clients.

"Also, some hotels are offering package deals for Mohali but they are limited," said travel agent Muhammad Shehzad.

These packages can cost up to Rs 100,000 per person. Some Pakistani fans also complained of being duped while buying tickets online. One person said he had lost $600 in such a scam.

"The chance to go to Mohali was lost after India beat Australia. Till then, tickets were available," said Hassan.