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Bored Indian fans leave before Test ends

Two fans left Faisalabad for home as the match and the city failed to keep their interest alive.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 10:11 IST

Two Indian fans who came here for the ongoing second India-Pakistan cricket Test have left Faisalabad for home after spending only two days as the match and city did not sustain their interest.

They watched the first two days of the five-day match and left for Lahore on Monday en route to Punjab, their home state, after "getting bored" in this dusty city, referred to as the Manchester of Pakistan for its textile industry.

"There is hardly anything to see and visit. So, we are going back home now," said Ashok Pupneja, who runs Pupneja Advertising Agency in Ludhiana that makes commercials for television channels.

"The cricket match was just an excuse to come to Pakistan and see this country, but we found that there was virtually nothing to see here except the Ghanta Ghar (clock tower, also called Victoria Memorial)," Pupneja said.

His friend Jaswinder Ghai, also from Ludhiana, said the Faisalabad visit was disappointing.

"We were not interested in the cricket, anyway. The main interest was to see the city, which was disappointing," he said. "We did not find anything worth seeing or visiting here."

The duo watched the action at the Iqbal Stadium from the Abdul Hafeez Kardar Enclosure just below the Indian team's dressing room.

Ghai, a Sikh, went to the ground wearing a turban in the saffron, white and green colours of the Indian flag.

"I wore the colours of the Indian flag and every time a Pakistani batsman got out I jumped and clapped thinking the television cameras would focus on me. But I don't know whether they actually did so," he said.

They also found it difficult to identify players when they went out to bat wearing helmets.

"We could hardly identify the players in their helmets. Every time we had to ask people around us as to who the player was," Ghai said.

"We also could not recognise the fielders from a distance. It is much better to watch cricket on television, with close ups of the players and the like," he maintained.

On reason for visiting Pakistan was that it did not cost much.

"The total expenditure on coming to Pakistan was just Rs 20," said Pupneja.

"Our car dropped us at the Wagah border, from where we took a vehicle to Lahore for just Rs 20. So it was not expensive at all," he stressed. "Now, I will call home and the car would come to the Wagah border to pick us up."