The streets of Pakistan’s biggest city wore a deserted look today as people stayed at home or crammed into restaurants,shopping malls,clubs and parks to watch the ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights match against India in Colombo.
As expected,enterprising owners of restaurants and clubs used the match to mint money as people dished out cash for tickets ranging from 500 to 2000 rupees to watch the match on big screens.
“The prices fluctuated according to facilities offered to the people at different restaurants and clubs,” the manager of an upscale coffee shop said.
Multimedia projectors,LCDs and LED TVs were placed at hotels,shopping malls,public parks and even on roads to air live coverage of the match in many parts of Karachi as the excitement and build up to the match was very high.
“I don’t care if Pakistan does not win the World Cup. This is the final for us and we must win it today,” a young cricket enthusiast,Samir said at the Rodale club in Defence Society.
At many of the restaurants,clubs and shopping malls,green was the colour of the day as young boys and girls painted their faces with the Pakistan flag to show support for Mohammad Hafeez and his men.
But soon after Pakistan lost five wickets,disappointment was already writ large on the faces of many cricket fans.
“I just don’t understand our batting,it is so inconsistent. How can they give wickets to bowlers like Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh,” a female college student Savera said at the Moin Khan cricket academy where a giant screen was installed for families and fans.
Being a Sunday meant the match had already become a major talking point for everyone in the city.
Since no international cricket has been held in Pakistan after the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009,the match represented an opportunity for people to watch some live action through screens at public places and malls.
Adeel,a university student,said that he had cancelled all his activities just to watch the “battle of cricket” between Pakistan and India. He said he did not want to miss the action no matter which team wins today.
Sadia,a housewife,said that although she was not a big fan of cricket,she could not miss an India-Pakistan clash.
“I love to watch dramas on TV but I forget them whenever there is a match between the two arch-rivals,” she said.