Exclusive: This Dubai resident is helping fans get India-Pakistan World Cup match tickets

Gopal Jasapara, the veteran Dubai-based Indian cricket coach, is also ready to help Pakistani fans in Dubai if the visa issue is sorted

by

Rituraj Borkakoty

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Gopal Jasapara at the 2019 ICC World Cup in England. — Supplied photo
Gopal Jasapara at the 2019 ICC World Cup in England. — Supplied photo

Published: Sun 1 Oct 2023, 5:59 PM

Having dedicated his life to cricket, Gopal Jasapara's heart swells with pride every time his wards excel for the UAE's national cricket team.

But until last year, the head coach of Dubai's G Force Academy who has produced more than a dozen international cricketers, was helpless when cricket lovers in the UAE asked for his help to get India-Pakistan match tickets in ICC events.


Not any more.

The veteran cricket coach has now joined hands with Bharat Army, the official supporters group of the Indian team, to book 30 tickets for the marquee World Cup clash in Ahmedabad on October 14.


"Recently I was in England on a cricket trip when I met some members of the Bharat Army. It was then I got to know that they can help me block tickets for the big game as they are one of the ICC partners," Jasapara told the Khaleej Times.

"As you know, it's almost impossible for ordinary fans to get tickets online. They are sold out in no time. So I decided to block 30 tickets with the help of Bharat Army."

Not just the match ticket, Jasapara is offering a complete package which includes flight tickets, accommodation, transportation and even sightseeing.

"We are offering two-night stay at the Fern Residency. It also includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We have also made transportation arrangements from the airport to the hotel and back," he said.

"This match will be played in my home state. So I have made arrangements to show them some famous places like the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad."

Until now, 15 Dubai-based Indian fans have bought the package, but Jasapara is also willing to help Pakistani fans.

"A lot of Pakistani friends in Dubai have called me. I am ready to offer them the tickets, but there is a visa issue now for Pakistani nationals. If it's sorted, I will be very happy to take them with us to India for this match," says Jasapara who will be flying to Ahmedabad on October 13.

"This is completely an individual effort to help people who are passionate about cricket. I remember a lot of people called me for tickets when India played Pakistan at the Asia Cup in Dubai last year.

"But I was unable to help them. I had also faced the same situation when the T20 World Cup in 2021 was staged in the UAE.

"But now I have got a chance to give people the wonderful experience of watching the big match. They can sit among the 100,000 people at the giant stadium in Ahmedabad and enjoy the match," said Jasapara who is also going to make his debut as a spectator in an India-Pakistan World Cup game.

"I have attended two World Cups in the past. I saw the India-South Africa match in Australia. Shikhar Dhawan scored a hundred in that game. Then I watched the India-West Indies game at the 2019 World Cup in England," he recalled.

"But this will also be my first India-Pakistan match in a World Cup. As a cricket lover, it's a very emotional moment for me to be able to help people who love the game so much. It's a great opportunity for them to watch this big match live."

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