Please arrange our visas, Pakistani scribes tell tournament director (World Cup Diary)

March 25th, 2011 - 8:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, March 25 (IANS) Some Pakistani journalists, still awaiting their visas for travelling to Mohali for the India-Pakistan cricket World Cup semifinal clash Wednesday, found a saviour in tournament director Ratnakar Shetty.

On a brief visit to the Sher-e-Bangla stadium media box Friday, Shetty gave a patient hearing to the Pakistani journos.

“I have received a mail from your association and forwarded it to the Indian government. The Indian government is looking into the matter. I don’t think there will be any problem,” Shetty assured.

As is the habit of news-hungry scribes, some raised the issue of the Shiv Sena’s reported threat not to let the Pakistan team play in Mumbai if it reaches the final.

“It is an international event. The final has to be held in Mumbai. Please don’t try to get stories where there is none,” said Shetty as he left the media box.

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Bangaldeshi fans cheer for New Zealand

For once the crowd at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium seemed divided in their loyalty. There was a large turnout once again at the 25,000-capacity stadium. The official figure given was 22,157. While some rooted for New Zealand, others were firmly behind South Africa.

However, many cricket buffs here are yet to overcome the pain of the home side crashing out after a pathetic batting display against South Africa. And to give vent to their emotions, they turned against South Africa.

“I have always been a fan of South African cricket. But they shot us out for only 78. So today I will support New Zealand,” said a youth manning the turnstyle at the media entry.

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Curtains down for Bangaldesh’s World Cup

After a month of exhilarating cricket, the curtains finally came down on the Bangladesh part of the Cricket World Cup Friday. And the volunteers and support staff in the stadium seemed emotional.

“Tomorrow you all will go back home. And we will go back to our college. It was such a nice feeling working with all of you, sir,” said a young volunteer.

And to end the cricket carnival on a high, the authorities have planned a breathtaking fireworks display that will continue for 10 minutes once Friday’s quarter-final clash gets over.

“The fireworks will go on for ten minutes. So people in the neighbourhood should not panic if they hear cracker bursts so late in the night,” said a government official.

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