World Cup 2019: Fans struggle with hotels, travel on reserve day
It was a logistical nightmare for the fans as also for the organisers, given the re-arrangement that needed to be done right from security to hospitality
Manchester: With the World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand spilling on to the reserve day here at the Old Trafford due to rain on Tuesday, the worst affected were the fans.
There are scores of local and international fans travelling specifically for India matches, and with many forced to stay back for the extra day, hotel rooms in the city were unavailable.
It was a logistical nightmare for the fans as also for the organisers, given the re-arrangement that needed to be done right from security to hospitality.
Match tickets in drop boxes
A few hundred fans put their match tickets into the drop box while exiting on Tuesday and those tickets were then redistributed by the International Cricket Council before the start of play yesterday. However, those fans who decided to stay back, were forced to shell out three to five times the rate for a hotel room in the city for that extra night. There were serpentine queues outside several hotels in the city with anxious fans waiting to check-in. "We have come from London to watch this match. We got this room for 180 pounds [approximately Rs 15,000]. And despite paying so much, we have been in this check-in queue for close to half an hour now," said Brijesh Deshprabhat, who was here with his friends.
After scouting for all options in the city to stay for a night, Sagar Udeshi and his wife Jaee, who travelled from Durham, finally managed to get a room in Wigan, which is 21 miles away from Manchester. "We searched for all options in the city but couldn't get a room within our means. Since we had a car, we booked outside the city, but that too hasn't come cheap," said Udeshi.
London-based Paminder Singh, who is here with his friends, and wearing some fancy headgear, said they nearly travelled a 50-km stretch to Liverpool in search of a room that fits their budget.
"We tried all options in the city, but they were very expensive. So, since we have a car, we drove down to a town near Liverpool as we could only manage a room within our budget there," Paminder said.
Cancellation of bookings
A group of fans travelling from Chennai suffered as they had to reschedule their tickets to Birmingham for the second semi-final.
"We were supposed to leave this morning [Wednesday] for Birmingham. We had booked our tickets well in advance and got them cheap. But now we have to do the bookings again and as this is last minute, we had to shell out GBP 53 per ticket," said Manoj Kumar, a mechanical engineering student.
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