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T20 World Cup 2024: Delhi folks are game for the India vs Pakistan match

As exhilarating as it can get, it’s time for the much-awaited match of the year — India vs Pakistan at the T20 World Cup. And believe us, cricket lovers can’t keep calm. From stadium screenings to house parties, the city is buzzing with excitement!

Cricket fans across the city are heading to the official ICC Fan Park or hosting screenings to watch the India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup match.(Sunil Ghosh /HT( For representational purposes only))

Live, stadium-like feels

Several fans are pumped up to catch the live action and are heading to the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium for the World Cup Fan Park organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC). This event will feature performances by comedian Zakir Khan and musicians Raftaar, Parmish Verma and Akasa. Among the first cricket fans to buy a ticket to this event was Rohit Kumar, a Noida-based software engineer, who shares, “I’m going to the official screening at the Indira Gandhi Stadium with my entire office gang! We are such cricket fans that during the recent IPL, we were all sporting jerseys of our favorite teams. And this time it’s Team India all the way, so we will all be dressed in blue jerseys! Especially after Pakistan’s defeat against the USA in the opening match, we’re quite excited to watch India vs Pakistan and wind down with Zakir Khan, who is my favourite comedian. It’s actually like a Super Bowl for us, with live performances before the screening as though we’re actually there at the venue.”

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Another Delhiite, Akshina Gupta, a second-year BTech (Computer Science) student at Delhi Technological University (DTU), adds, “I’ve grown up watching cricket with my family back home in Bengaluru (Karnataka), and my elder brother sent a ticket to this screening at Indira Gandhi Arena for me because he knows just how much I love the game and Raftaar! The match is important, but watching Raftaar perform live is even more important. He’s my favourite, and I’ve never had the chance to watch him perform live.”

Watch parties closer to home

For those who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for a pricey affair, this Sunday will be a night to party regardless. From Residents Welfare Associations (RWA) to house parties, there’s a lot being organised by fans who are all set to enjoy cricket the desi way, surrounded by bonhomie and a community of enthusiasts.“Seeing so much enthusiasm among residents across age brackets, we’ve decided to organise a public screening,” informs Pawan Salwan, president of RWA of Mayur Vihar Phase 1.

Seeing the high number of cricket fans around him, Vikas Chaudhary, a cost and management accountant based in Model Town, has decided to host a house party. “I’ve sent out some 20 invitations and told everyone to bring along their friends because the more, the merrier,” says Chaudhary, adding, “I didn’t want to suffer the heat and Delhi’s traffic to get to a stadium only to watch the match with strangers. That’s why I decided to have a projector and will be screening it on my terrace. So my neighbours will also get a view from the comfort of their homes. Since it’s Sunday, no one will be disturbed.”

Mannat Chotwani, a second-year student of BA (Hons) English at Hansraj College, says, “I live in a PG with two of my classmates, and though my exams are over, some of my peers still have their exams going on. So we’ve decided not to let the enthusiasm for the World Cup wane, and we’ll be hosting a watch party at my flat in Hudson Lane. We’ve invited several friends from our college, as well as those who live in PGs around us and Kamla Nagar, to make it a proper slumber party as we sing songs from the film ’83 (2021)!”

Shopkeepers in Palika Bazar have reported a rise in demand for Team India jerseys.(Photo: Manvi Singh/HT (Photo for representational purposes))
Shopkeepers in Palika Bazar have reported a rise in demand for Team India jerseys.(Photo: Manvi Singh/HT (Photo for representational purposes))

Palika Bazar powers love for Team India

Bleeding blue sans the comfort of the blue jersey would make this evening incomplete, hence some Delhiites made advance trips to Palika Bazar to get their fix. Confirming the spike in rush in recent days to buy Team India’s jersey, Shubham Rajput, owner of shop no 26 at Palika Bazar, shares, “This year, during IPL, there were no buyers at all. But now cricket lovers have been coming to buy Team India jerseys. Uss samay ki kamayi ab ho rahi hai, and especially before the India-Pakistan match! My shop is selling 50-60 jerseys daily, with each piece priced between 200 to 2,000.” Adding to this, Rahul Naik, owner of shop number 96, informs, “Sabse zyada (Virat) Kohli, (Ravindra) Jadeja aur Hardik Pandya ki jerseys waise bhi bikti thi. But this time log Shubhman Gill aur Rinku Singh ki jerseys dhoondte huye aa rahe hain. Inki wali jerseys kam milti hain kyunki ye players abhi itne bade star nahi bane hain. Besides, plain jerseys without any name are also in demand right now.”


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