Even as the Pakistan cricket team's hopes of participating in the ICC World T20 hangs on their government's approval to play in India, the preparations for the much-awaited India-Pakistan clash on March 19 are in full swing at Dharamsala.
The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), the host for the big match, has sent out the rates of tickets to 30 affiliated units of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for 14 games that includes qualifiers and women's T20 matches. As per the BCCI norms, 25 tickets will be made available to each affiliated unit. Yesterday was the last day for all interested units to submit their requirements for tickets.
While R3000 is what affiliated units will have to shell out for all matches to be played at the 23,000 capacity-Dharamsala stadium, the HPCA has shot up the price for the India vs Pakistan clash to Rs 23,000 for the affiliated units. The price will also include tickets for the March 18 India vs New Zealand match. HPCA Honorary Secretary Vishal Marwaha explained the reason behind the exorbitant ticket rates for India-Pakistan and India-New Zealand matches.
"They are premium tickets which will have a 24-course meal from a reputed caterer. There will be hard drinks on the house. These seats are just above the sight screen," Marwaha told mid-day yesterday. However, he assured that the tickets for the India-Pakistan clash would be reasonably priced for the public.
"We have sent a proposal to the BCCI. We have kept the rates quite reasonable and have ensured maximum public can come to the ground to witness the match. Hospitality tickets will be priced at a premium rate though. We won't loot the public because we have the India-Pakistan game. The final ticket rates will be made public by the BCCI and ICC very soon," said Marwaha.
Rs 500 for public?
An HPCA official, on condition of anonymity, revealed that tickets for the India-Pakistan clash would cost only R500 for the general public. "Around 2300 tickets will be priced at Rs 500. There will be no seats in this enclosure," the official said.