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New York prepares for India-Pakistan T20: 'Super Bowl on steroids'

Reuters |
Jun 04, 2024 01:50 AM IST

CRICKET-T20/:Cricket-New York prepares for India-Pakistan T20: 'Super Bowl on steroids'

By Amy Tennery

New York prepares for India-Pakistan T20: 'Super Bowl on steroids'
New York prepares for India-Pakistan T20: 'Super Bowl on steroids'

EAST MEADOW, New York, - New York officials are preparing for the "Super Bowl on steroids" as thousands descend upon Nassau County for the clash of arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the group stage of the T20 World Cup on Sunday.

The two sides form one of the most intense rivalries in sport and the temporary, 34,000-seat stadium in East Meadow, New York, will be bursting at the seams, with millions more watching on TV.

"India vs. Pakistan is like the Super Bowl on steroids. We had no idea how huge it was," Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. "We want to put our best foot forward."

That has meant an extraordinary safety effort, with security personnel from every level in the region working in conjunction in the county, which sits adjacent to New York City.

New York state governor Kathy Hochul said last week that there will be increased security for the World Cup, after reported threats including those specifically related to the India-Pakistan fixture.

"I found her remarks refreshing," said Blakeman. "I'm very confident that this is a safe environment - if it wasn't, then I wouldn't hold it."

The two sides have not played a test since the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the least expensive ticket available for Sunday's match was $790 on ticket resale website StubHub, as of Monday afternoon.

Operations appeared to go smoothly on Monday and security blanketed the stadium in New York as it hosted the first of eight matches, as South Africa beat Sri Lanka by six wickets.

The United States are co-hosting the tournament with the West Indies, with matches staged also in Texas and Florida, as cricket hopes to woo American fans before returning to the Olympic programme in 2028.

The 12,562 fans in attendance in New York on Monday kept a party atmosphere going and immigrants who never thought they would see their national team play cricket on U.S. soil got a taste of home.

"Literally a dream come true. One would never expect cricket to be here like you see so many fans out here," said Shehan Perera, 27, who moved to the U.S. from Sri Lanka when he was 14-years-old.

"There's a demand for cricket anywhere. If there's an event, we're going to show up."

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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