The Pakistan cricket team arrived here on Monday under heavy security cover for the second ODI against India, which will be held at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

Also arriving in the day were India skipper M.S. Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher with the support staff. Ravindra Jadeja and the two local players Ashok Dinda and Mohammad Shami have also landed. The rest of the Indian squad will arrive in batches on Tuesday.

The Pakistan contingent took time off on the eve of the new year and confined itself to private celebrations. The Cricket Association of Bengal had initially planned for a joint celebration but with Indian board allowing the players to take a break on the New Year's eve, the function has been put off. The teams are scheduled to start practice from Tuesday afternoon.

Though India lost the Test against England barely three weeks ago at the same venue, the expectations have been on the ascendance about the home side turning the tables on Pakistan.

With Pakistan winning the first ODI at Chennai on Sunday, the craze has only doubled.

The usual scene of long queues outside the ticket counters were absent this time as the few tickets — around 3,500 — meant for public sale were sold online.

There was ‘sold-out’ notice on the online vendor which announced the exhaustion of the sale within 12 hours of opening.

The rest of the tickets were lapped up by the members — who number in thousands — and 121 affiliated units of the CAB.

The State body has a tradition of making public sales only when there is surplus after making the obligatory distributions. There were reports of tickets selling at a premium owing to this demand.

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