The city of Ahmedabad is all set to host the most anticipated match of the ICC World Cup 2023, as arch-rivals India and Pakistan will face each other at the Narendra Modi Stadium on October 14. The match, which is expected to draw millions of viewers across the globe, has also prompted the authorities to take strict security measures to ensure a smooth and safe event.
No-drone zone declared in Ahmedabad
The Ahmedabad police have issued a notification designating the city a “no-drone zone” during the match, citing the threat of terrorist or antisocial elements using small aircraft or drones to harm the players, dignitaries or spectators. The notification, issued on Wednesday, banned the operation of drones, quadcopters, powered aircraft, microlight aircraft, hang gliders, paragliders, paramotors, hot air balloons and parachuting on October 14.
However, the notification exempted police, security agencies, Gujarat Cricket Association and Board of Control of Cricket in India from the ban list. The police commissioner GS Malik said that anyone violating the order would be liable for legal action under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Aircraft Act.
Four arrested for selling fake tickets
The crime branch of Ahmedabad police have also arrested four persons for allegedly printing and selling 50 fake tickets of the match to people at ₹ 3 lakh. The accused had scanned an original ticket using Photoshop and printed nearly 200 duplicate tickets with different barcodes. They were selling the tickets to fans for a price ranging from ₹ 2,000 to ₹ 20,000 per ticket through social media.
The police have recovered all 200 tickets, including the 50 that were sold by the youths. The police have registered a case against the four accused on the charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, breach of trust and forgery, among others. The police have also warned the public to beware of such fraudsters and buy tickets only from authorized sources.
India vs Pakistan rivalry resumes after two years
The match between India and Pakistan will be the first one-day international between the two teams since September 2021, when they met in the Asia Cup in Dubai. India won that match by nine wickets and also defeated Pakistan in their previous encounter at the World Cup in 2019 by 89 runs. India have an unbeaten record against Pakistan in World Cup matches, winning all seven times they have faced each other.
However, Pakistan will be hoping to break that jinx and register their first win over India at the World Cup. Pakistan have a formidable bowling attack led by Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali, who can trouble any batting line-up. Pakistan also have some experienced batsmen like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman, who can score big runs on their day.
India, on the other hand, have a balanced team with a strong top order comprising Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. They also have a potent spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal, who can exploit the conditions in Ahmedabad. India also have some exciting young talents like Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Prithvi Shaw, who can provide the X-factor in crunch situations.
The match is expected to be a high-scoring affair as both teams have powerful hitters who can clear the boundaries with ease. The pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium is known to be flat and conducive for batting. The stadium also has a capacity of 1.1 lakh spectators, making it the largest cricket stadium in the world. The atmosphere at the stadium will be electric as both teams will have huge support from their fans.
The match will start at 2:30 pm IST and will be telecast live on Star Sports network and Disney+ Hotstar app. The match will also be streamed live on YouTube by ICC.