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Huge demand for Delhi ODI passes

April 09, 2005 17:53 IST

Delhi and District Cricket Association president Arun Jaitley is finding it difficult to meet the increasing demand for complimentary tickets for the sixth and final One-Day International between India and Pakistan.

Besides Members of Parliament, members of the Delhi cabinet and MLAs of the Delhi assembly, the demand for passes is increasing from the Delhi police and civic agencies, who have granted temporary occupancy clearance to stage the match at the Ferozshah Kotla grounds despite it being still under construction.

In fact, a senior member of the Board for Control of Cricket in India suggested that Jaitley leaves the country for a week and goes to Kampuchea to avoid the embarrassment of answering telephone calls requesting passes.

The demand is not just from Indians but also visiting dignitaries from Pakistan who will be accompany President Pervez Musharraf, who is due to watch the match.

The Speaker of the Pakistan assembly has written to Jaitley to keep 15 extra tickets for him as he would be accompanied by members of his family and relatives besides a couple of government officials.

"I am going to keep a few hundred tickets for the VVIPs from Pakistan to meet any such contingency," Jaitley told on Saturday.

In fact, Delhi's who's who is expected to be present at the Kotla grounds for the April 17 match. Besides politicians and business tycoons who are expected to throng the stadium with their families, some top film stars, including Shah Rukh Khan, Govinda and others are expected.

"Page 3 people will all be there on the pavilion side," said the seasoned lawyer and former minister of law and justice with a mischievous smile.

He has set aside 250 seats for media persons from India and Pakistan.

"Only working journalists would be given a table and a chair. The rest of them would have chairs to watch the game. The press box is just above the place from where Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and President Pervez Musharraf would watch the game," he added.

The Taj group of hotels has been entrusted the catering for VVIPs and the India Habibtat Centre, reserved for those holding Rs 11,500 tickets. For the general public, the Nirulas will sell food packets at reasonable prices.

"We have the best facilities in the country in this stadium. The flooring of the two players' dressing rooms has been done with anti-skidding tiles and the dinning hall and bar has wonderful granite floors," said Jaitley, who has raised Rs 35 crore by way of selling space to various corporate houses.

Onkar Singh in Delhi