It was Sashidhar’s enthusiasm to witness the first Twenty-20 (T20) match between India and Pakistan on Christmas Day that made him stand with the support of his crutches for over five hours.

Emerging from the snaking queue leading up to the ticket counters of the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday, the avid cricket fan said he got his ticket on the disabled persons’ quota, but that did not spare him the hours of waiting till he got one at 11.30 a.m. He, however, was happy about the police security, unlike last time when fans were caned.

For many other fans, the wait near the ticket counters began as early as midnight in front of the stadium where thousands queued up. After the last Test match between the two countries in 2007, this is the first time the teams will be facing each other.

Ratan J. had no doubts that India would win. “I have come all the way from Delhi to watch this match and even though I had to reach here at 5.30 a.m., I am glad as I got my ticket.”

However, December 21 was the end of the world for those who couldn’t get their hands on the coveted tickets before the counters closed shortly after noon.

About 5,500 gallery tickets, priced at Rs. 250 each, were sold out in five hours after the ticket counters opened at 8 a.m. Thanks to online ticket sales which had commenced earlier in the month, the process remained smooth and organised. Even so, hundreds of police personnel were deployed around the stadium to keep the crowd in check.

The two teams are scheduled to play two T20 matches and three One-Dayers from December 25.

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