Sports

Hospitals in Ahmedabad Overwhelmed by Fans Staying Overnight for India-Pakistan World Cup Match

Cricket fever has taken hold in Ahmedabad as fans gear up for the World Cup group stage match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. Nearby hospitals have witnessed an unexpected surge in patients reserving overnight stays, aligning their health check-ups with the much-anticipated cricket showdown. This rush for health check-up “packages” is seen as a clever strategy to secure affordable accommodations, given the exorbitant hotel prices, which have skyrocketed up to 20 times their usual rates leading up to the match.

In response to this unique phenomenon, the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association has discouraged its members from accommodating these cricket enthusiasts. Its president, Bharat Gadhavi, stated, “We have asked our members not to entertain such requests. Hospitals are not meant for non-patients.”

The rivalry between India and Pakistan, two Asian neighbors who have fought three wars since their separation in 1947, has grown more intense over the years, especially following the 2008 Mumbai attack. While bilateral cricket was affected by geopolitical tensions, it heightened the anticipation for clashes between these neighbors, which now primarily occur in multi-team events.

Both India and Pakistan have won their opening two matches at the tournament, and the demand for tickets for Saturday’s game was so high that the first batch sold out within an hour of going on sale in August. To meet the demand, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released an additional 14,000 tickets earlier this month. Local resident Hemish Patel and his friends managed to secure tickets after several days of attempts, each costing 6,000 Indian rupees ($72.15). Patel described their method, saying, “We logged into the site with multiple devices. We constantly kept on refreshing the site and were able to book within 10 minutes after the sale of tickets began.”

With tickets now reselling at up to 25 times their face value, authorities have cracked down on fraudulent ticket sales, arresting four individuals for selling fake tickets. Airfare has surged up to four times its regular price, and Indian railways will run additional super-fast trains connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

The Narendra Modi Stadium, with a capacity of 134,000, is the ideal venue for this fierce cricket rivalry. The match on Saturday will commence with a musical performance and will be graced by Bollywood stars, including Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth. To ensure security, Ahmedabad has been declared a “no-drone zone” for the day, with 11,000 security personnel deployed for the high-profile match, according to Ahmedabad police commissioner GS Malik.

Despite the intense rivalry on the cricket field, players from both sides maintain good relations. A heartwarming example occurred during the Asia Cup last month when Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi gifted Jasprit Bumrah a present for Bumrah’s newborn baby, a video of which went viral. For Indian Liyakat Khan, the match holds special significance as his daughter, Samiya, is married to Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali. Khan expressed his excitement, stating, “I can’t wait to hold my grandchild.”

Shakila Nasreen

Exploring the technology and fetching unique info for all of you is not my hobby but passion. This passion drove me to news reporting field. It's my hobby to timely report latest news all over the Pakistan. Email: shakila@www.thepost.com.pk

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