India-Pakistan World Cup clash: From special trains to grand ceremony; 5 things to know

The blockbuster game on October 14 will be the first time the two teams face each other on Indian soil since the 2016 T20 World Cup

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India’s captain Rohit Sharma (L) and his Pakistani counterpart Babar Azam. Photo: AFP
India’s captain Rohit Sharma (L) and his Pakistani counterpart Babar Azam. Photo: AFP

Published: Thu 12 Oct 2023, 1:50 PM

Cricket’s biggest rivalry will resume this Saturday when India take on Pakistan in a World Cup match on October 14. The contest in Ahmedabad will be the first time the neighbours face each other on Indian soil since the 2016 T20 World Cup.

Both India and Pakistan kicked off their World Cup campaign on a promising note having won their first two matches. As we await the blockbuster match, here are five things to know about the India-Pakistan face-off.


Special trains

Two special superfast trains will run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to cater to the crowd attending the World Cup match, news agency PTI reported. The Mumbai Central-Ahmedabad special train will depart at 9.30 pm on Friday and will reach the destination at 5.30 am on Saturday. The Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central special train will leave Ahmedabad at 4 am on Sunday and arrive in Mumbai at 12.10 pm on the same day.

Grand ceremony

According to reports in the Indian media, a magnificent ceremony will be organised ahead of the India-Pakistan match in Ahmedabad. An article published by Firstpost claimed that the star-studded event will kick off at 12.40 pm local time on October 14 and conclude at 1.10 pm. Reports claimed that children will be at the venue as mascots and escort players from both sides to the ground.


Celebrities in attendance

Cricket great Sachin Tendulkar and legendary Indian actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth will be at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to witness the World Cup fixture between India and Pakistan, the reports said.

According to The Economic Times, a light show and dance performances will take place ahead of the main event. Indian playback singer Arijit Singh will perform at the event. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) president Zaka Ashraf will also attend the highly anticipated match.

Tight security

The western Indian city of Ahmedabad had been turned into a fortress for the India-Pakistan match. As per a PTI report, the entire city will be secured by more than 11,000 members of the Gujarat police, National Security Guard (NSG), Rapid Action Force (RAF) and home guards.

Sportstar reported that in a bid to avoid security lapses, the authorities have decided that fans will only be allowed to carry their purses, mobile phones, hats and necessary medicines inside the Narendra Modi stadium.

"Along with more than 7,000 police personnel, we will deploy nearly 4,000 home guards to secure the stadium and to maintain law and order in the city during the match. In addition to these personnel, we will deploy three 'hit teams' and one anti-drone team of the NSG. Nine teams of our bomb detection and disposal squad will also be utilised," GS Malik, Ahmedabad Commissioner of Police (CP), said during a press conference.

Warm welcome for Pakistan

Pakistan cricketers received a rousing welcome at their hotel in Ahmedabad ahead of the big match. In a video shared by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the players are being welcomed by the hotel staff with traditional shawls upon their arrival.

The grand reception featured a traditional dance, showering of rose petals and balloons.

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