Ticket prices rise tenfold in black market
By our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 7: Sports aficiodos in Guwahati are in for a treat on Monday when arch rivals India and Pakistan lock horns in their first hockey encounter in the 12th South Asian Games at the Mohammad Tayabulla Hockey stadium.
Defending champions Pakistan are the favourites for the group league match that kicks off at 8 pm in the evening.
It will be the second India-Pakistan encounter in a sporting event in Guwahati.
More than eight years ago, the Indian cricket team, lead by MS Dhoni, faced Shoaib Malik's Pakistan in an One-Day Intertiol match on November, 2007 at the Nehru stadium. India registered a huge 5-wicket victory in that game.
However, the last two editions of the South Asian Games were witness to a different result in hockey. Pakistan domited over India in Colombo and Dhaka respectively, despite the latter winning their league matches.
However, India will have one advantage this time as they will be playing on home turf.
On record, India and Pakistan have faced each other on the hockey ground on 162 occasions. India has won 52 times while Pakistan has registered victory on 80 occasions. Thirty matches ended in draw. In those 162 matches, India has scored 310 goals while Pakistan has scored 374.
Meanwhile, organizers are having a tough time grappling with a huge demand for match tickets. All the tickets for the match have been sold out. However, some tickets are still being sold in the black market. There are two categories of tickets for spectators - Rs 10 and Rs 20. The minimum price of those tickets is now Rs 200 in the black market and these are expected to be even pricier tomorrow.
Dhrubajyoti Goswami, a businessman of Maligaon locality, was upset when he reached the ticket counter near the hockey stadium today, only to learn there is no ticket left for the game. "I had planned to watch the game with my family members. But all tickets have been sold out while the blackers (touts) are charging much higher prices. It is impossible for me to purchase ten tickets from them," he said.
Pakistan made a winning start in men's hockey, beating Sri Lanka by 3-0 in the first group match. Abbas (12minutes), Shah (19 minutes) and Qadir scored one goal each in the match.
Earlier, the Indian women's hockey team started their campaign with authority as they crushed Nepal 24-0.
Forwards Soundarya Yendala (15th, 52nd, 62nd and 64th minutes) and Poom Barla (7th, 472nd, 43rd and 51st) netted four times each. Four other players including Rani (2nd, 46th and 48th), Jaspreet Kaur (4th, 35th and 56th), Neha Goyal (14th, 22nd and 70th) and Deepika (53rd, 62nd and 67th) scored three goals each while Gurjit Kaur (21st and 41st) and Preeti Dubey (23rd and 29th) also got onto the scoresheet for the hosts.
In the men’s hockey, India started their campaign in style beating Bangladesh 4-1 in the last group match of the day. Soma (10), Gagan Preet (27), Nilam (30) and Umar (69) scored for the winning side. Milon (42) produced one for Bangladesh.