Rush for Affordable Accommodation: Cricket Fans Seek Hospital Stays During India-Pakistan Showdown”
As anticipation soars for the much-awaited India-Pakistan cricket match, a peculiar trend has emerged in Ahmedabad, where several hospitals have witnessed a sudden surge in patients booking overnight stays coinciding with the 50-over showpiece.
In an effort to secure budget-friendly lodging options, many fans have turned to hospital check-up “packages” as an ingenious solution, especially with hotel prices skyrocketing up to 20 times the usual rates in the lead-up to the match.
Tushar Patel, President of the Ahmedabad Medical Association, disclosed that they have encountered cases of cricket enthusiasts booking health check-up appointments along with their hospital stays, just to be part of the India-Pakistan match fever.
However, the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association has discouraged its members from accommodating such unconventional requests, emphasizing that hospitals primarily serve patients and their healthcare needs.
The intense rivalry between India and Pakistan, which has seen three wars since their independence in 1947, further heightened after the 2008 Mumbai attack. While bilateral cricket matches became a rarity due to geopolitical tensions, multi-team events like this one have only amplified the excitement for a clash between the two neighboring nations.
Both India and Pakistan have won their opening two matches at the tournament, intensifying the excitement for this showdown. Tickets for the match sold out within an hour of their release, leading to the addition of 14,000 more tickets earlier this month.
Securing tickets became a challenge, with some being sold at exorbitant rates on the resale market. City police even arrested individuals for selling counterfeit tickets.
Airfare surged significantly, and special trains were scheduled to run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The Narendra Modi Stadium, with a capacity of 134,000, is set to be the perfect venue for this intense cricketing rivalry.
The high-profile match will begin with a musical performance and feature appearances by Bollywood stars. Security measures are paramount, as Ahmedabad has been declared a “no-drone zone” for the day, with 11,000 security personnel deployed to ensure a safe and secure event.
Despite the fierce on-field rivalry, players from both sides share good relations, as exemplified by gestures of camaraderie, like the gift given by Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi to India’s Jasprit Bumrah during a recent tournament. This match holds special significance for one family, with Indian Liyakat Khan’s daughter married to Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali.