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Team India ? hottest at the World Cup!

India's matches are the most sought after in WC 2007 at the Caribbean among fans worldwide, the organisers said.

india Updated: Aug 05, 2006 11:53 IST

India has emerged as the hottest country that fans want to follow during the 2007 cricket World Cup in the West Indies, the organisers announced on Tuesday.

"The top five teams for which 'Follow A Path' packages are in greatest demand are India, Australia, England, New Zealand and Pakistan, respectively," the World Cup organisers said in a statement as the first of the three-phase ticket distribution periods ended Monday.

As many as 20,000 people applied online for tickets Monday, the last day of the three-month first phase.

This is half of the number of applications received over the last week of the three-month first of the three phases of ticket distribution system, with fans from 124 countries seeking tickets for the March 11-April 28 tournament.

"While online traffic soared, as the hours ticked down to the 11.59 p.m. (Eastern Caribbean Time) end of applications on July 31, staff at official ticket centres across the nine host venues - including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago - reported a significant increase in the number of fans submitting application forms," the organisers said in a statement.

"Trinidad and Tobago's ticket centres were inundated with submissions. The massive response by fans there is borne out by the fact that the twin-island republic has jumped to third overall among countries from which the most applications have been received," it said.

"The top 10 are as follows: the UK, the US, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Australia, Jamaica, India, Canada, Guyana and St. Kitts and Nevis, respectively."

World Cup commercial manager Stephen Price said that the success of the application stage of public ticketing indicated that fans worldwide understood the process and had acted accordingly.

"Ever since we unveiled the ticketing programme last November we have stressed the fact that regardless of whenever one applied during the May 1 to July 31 application phase, one would have the same chance of being allocated match tickets," he said.

"It's an overwhelming vote of confidence in the Caribbean's ability to host such an event and it's certainly an indication that World Cup will be well attended."

Price explained that the second phase would run Sep 1-Nov 30. This stage will be conducted on a first come, first serve basis, with the remaining tickets available online and at official ticket centres in the nine host venues.

The third and final phase begins Jan 9 next and will end on the morning of the final April 28 - again on a first come, first serve basis, subject to availability - with actual seats being sold online, at official ticket centres and venue box offices in the host venues.