One normally expects an India v Pakistan clash to sell like hot cakes. For the upcoming ODI World Cup in India later this year, though match tickets are not yet out for sale, the Indo-Pak game scheduled for October 15 has already seen hotels in Ahmedabad run out of rooms. However, the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament that began at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium here on Thursday, has not yet seen a rush for tickets for the India v Pakistan clash which is less than a week away (on August 9).
“There are many tickets still available with us here for sale,” said one of the officials at the ticket window near the stadium’s main Gate No. 1, in possession of at least three to four booklets of tickets, numbering close to a few hundred seats. The newly renovated stadium has a seating capacity of around 8,000 with tickets being sold in modest denominations of Rs 300, Rs 400 and Rs 500.
However, with tickets also being sold online, there is a possibility that many have purchased from there.
“The Chennai crowd loves their hockey. I have experienced this when I led the team to the gold medal at the 2007 Asia Cup here. I have no doubt that the stadium will be full for this tournament too as international hockey returns to the state after more than 15 years,” said former India captain and Hockey India’s president Dilip Tirkey.
Pakistan coach Saqlain Mohammad echoed similar sentiments. “India v Pakistan hockey matches are tense encounters with not just the players from both sides, but also the public brimming with passion. There will be a loud full house on August 9,” he said.