Standing room only for India-Pakistan match at T20 World Cup

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Twenty20 World Cup organizers have had to release standing-room-only tickets for the India-Pakistan group-stage encounter after all seats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground were sold out within five minutes.

Organizers said an additional 4,000 tickets would be sold for the Oct. 23 blockbuster for areas where standing is the only option for spectators. The MCG can can hold up to 100,000 for Australian rules football games and more than 90,000 for cricket.

“The ticket release ensures that as many fans as possible can attend,” organizers said. Matches between Pakistan and India at cricket World Cups usually sell out quickly because of the lack of bilateral tours involving the archrivals.

India edged Pakistan by 5 runs in the final of the first T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa. Pakistan won the next edition with an eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final at Lord’s in 2009.

Six countries have won the title, with the West Indies (2012 and ’16) being the only two-time champions.

The 2022 edition will start Oct. 16 and finish with a Nov. 13 final at the MCG. Australia is the defending champion after winning its first T20 world men’s title in Dubai last year.

Australia was scheduled to stage both Twenty20 World Cups in 2020 but the men’s tournament was postponed because of travel restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia won the women’s final against India in March 2020 in front of a crowd exceeding 86,000 at the MCG.

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