Absence of Pakistan fans robs of bipartisan support, colour

It was a packed stadium in Bangalore but it was the home team with all the support as Pakistani fans were unable to make visa arrangements.

Updated: December 26, 2012 00:14 IST
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Bangalore: Resumption of the much-hyped bilateral series for the shorter version of the game brought an upbeat Pakistan team to India after a gap of five years, but not hundreds of fans from across the border, as they could not get tickets for this match in time to secure visas and make travel arrangements.

"Though we were told initially that about 500 visas were earmarked for the Bangalore match, tickets for our fans did not come in time to apply for visas and travel all the way to south India. The Indian High Commission insisted on producing tickets and hotel reservations for granting visas. As it takes at least seven working days for completing the formalities, many fans kept away," a Pakistan official accompanying the team told IANS.

Barring the 16-member Pakistan squad and a dozen officials, absence of Pakistani fans in the stadium was conspicuous though the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) allotted a separate stand in the pavilion for a ring side view of the match on a green turf.

"We hope some of our fans will be able to make it to the three ODIs (one-day internationals) series after the second T20 in Ahmedabad Dec 28. We are expecting a large turn out of our fans for the ODI in New Delhi Jan 6," the official quipped.

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