150 Pak fans arrive for Mohali ODI
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150 Pak fans arrive for Mohali ODI

The small number of cricket buffs this time is being attributed to strict visa restrictions and imposition of emergency rule in Pak.

cricket Updated: Nov 08, 2007 12:09 IST

Nearly 150 cricket buffs from Pakistan have arrived in Mohali to watch the one-day international (ODI) match between India and Pakistan on Thursday.

They crossed the Wagah-Attari border between the two countries near Amritsar, 300 km from Mohali, and were brought on Wednesday night in special buses under heavy police protection.

Security agencies in Mohali are keeping a close watch on the movement of the Pakistani fans following the experience in March 2005 when about 10 Pakistani fans went missing after coming to watch a Test match in Mohali. Six of these Pakistanis are still untraceable.

The small number of Pakistani fans this time is being attributed to strict visa restrictions by India and also uncertainty in their country following imposition of emergency there last week.

They did not get the generally warm welcome on the Indian side of the border due to latest developments in their own country. It was only at Chandigarh, where they were taken for their names to be registered at a police station, that they got a welcome from locals known to them.

The Indian government has refused a visa to Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed who too wanted to come and watch one of the matches.

First Published: Nov 08, 2007 11:53 IST