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Sports

June 14, 2019

Manchester at centre of cricketing universe

Sports

Fri, Jun 14, 2019

MANCHESTER: Manchester is buzzing. And for a change, it’s not because of a any major football game.

The city is currently at the centre of attention for the entire cricketing world as it gets ready to host the World Cup match between the sport’s greatest rivals – Pakistan and India.

A sell-out Old Trafford awaits the two teams for Sunday’s game which is regarded as the biggest of this World Cup.

Dozens of extra jets were scheduled to arrive in the city over the weekend as cricket fans begin to assemble in the city for the marquee match.

The local administration has taken best possible precautionary measures to make sure that the game is held in a smooth manner despite the fact that thousands will turn up for it, even the ones without holding valid tickets. According to reports, a huge policing operation has been planned which includes participation of armed officers.

The tickets were sold out minutes after they were offered online. They are still available but can cost an eager fan more than 2000 pounds per ticket.

Local officials are elated to be hosting such a grand affair that will have a global TV audience of over one billion.

"It's probably one of the biggest games in cricket,” said Warren Hegg, Lancashire Cricket Club's Business Manager.

"Cricket is life in that part of the world and both sets of fans are really fanatical about the game...the atmosphere is going to be electric,” he told BBC.

Old Trafford has a capacity of 25,000 which is just a fraction of the 700,000 applications that were made for the tickets. Fully aware that thousands of fans would be in Manchester without valid tickets on Sunday, a fan zone - which can hold up to 3,500 people - has been established in Cathedral Gardens where the game can be viewed by fans on a large screen.

Similar facilities have been set up in other major centres in Britain. One of the largest ones would be established in London’s Wembley locality catering for around 5000 fans.