T20 World Cup: India, Pak expats in UAE await biggest cricket fest of year

Cricket fans get their bodies painted with the Indian and Pakistani national flag colours, ahead of the T20 World Cup match between the nations in Dubai. – Reuters
Cricket fans get their bodies painted with the Indian and Pakistani national flag colours, ahead of the T20 World Cup match between the nations in Dubai. – Reuters

Dubai - Residents talk about how they are preparing for this epic duel.



By SM Ayaz Zakir, Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sat 23 Oct 2021, 8:53 PM

Last updated: Sat 23 Oct 2021, 9:45 PM

Residents in the UAE are eagerly awaiting the biggest sporting event of the year as India and Pakistan’s national cricket teams will square-off in Dubai on Sunday, October 24.

Pakistan will play against India for the second match of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, as the two rivals begin their title race in a Sunday blockbuster.

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Indian and Pakistani expatriates, including sporting and non-sporting fans, have made plans to catch the match live Sunday evening.

While many have shelled out anything between Dh300 to Dh2,400 to watch the match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, many told Khaleej Times they will be watching the cricket match from home.

Many companies in Dubai have turned their conference rooms into ‘mini stadiums’ facilitating employees to watch the historic event on big screens.

Luke Craven, head of strategies at Yalla Compare said that they will be having a fun evening for their employees after work. “We have a very diverse work culture with dominantly Indians and Pakistanis. We understand the importance and the sentiments linked with the cricket match between the two nations,” said Luke.

“Employees will be able to enjoy the live streaming of the match at the office with refreshments. It will act as a get-together and a team-building activity for employees of the two nations.” Luke added.

Athar Malpa working at Yalla Compare said that he was a bit disheartened for not getting a ticket to watch it at the stadium. “It was a treat to my ears when I heard the arrangements done by the management. I really appreciate their efforts and planning to make the most of it,” he added.

A Khaleej Times poll on Instagram showed two out of ten poll participants said they will be watching their game from their home.

Hiten Umrania, an Indian expat and marketing professional told Khaleej Times, “The tickets got sold out pretty quickly. I will be wearing my blue jersey and watching the game from home.”

Meanwhile, Pakistani expatriate Umair Imtiaz, said, “The Pakistan team has my full support. I am very excited for the upcoming game. Will be watching it from home as I could not get tickets for the match.”


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