Beyond the boundary line, all of Pakistan is dying to crash into battlefield Mohali in India. The common Pakistani cricket fan is yet to cross the border at Attari but on Saturday, the board representatives arrived with their baggage of hopes.
"Entire Pakistan is desperate to watch the team take on archrivals in the World Cup semifinals on March 30," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) marketing head, Tariq Hakim, told HT on entering India. He'll watch the do-or-die encounter with his wife and son.
Hakim's son was in Pakistani team jersey and cap. "The India-Pakistan semifinal game has evoked tremendous enthusiasm back home," said the PCB officials. “People say it's the World Cup final, and everyone wants to be part of it."
It was not possible to bring everyone to India, in the thick of restrictions, "but people who have match ticket and visa should make it to Mohali", Hakim said. He appreciated the match invite from Prime Manmohan Singh to counterpart Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani in Pakistan. "An appreciable step. It can turn the match between the two nations into a friendship game." Many VIPs from Pakistan are expected to be at the game.
The PCB official will be at a couple of meetings with the Indian board officials before heading to the match. His son was more eager than him to meet his heroes.