The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 started on Sunday, October 16. The first of these phases saw eight teams in two groups fight for a place in the second phase of the tournament – the Super 12 round. 

India will open their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Super 12 standoff in Melbourne on Sunday, October 23.

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Melbourne is a city that regularly hosts events like the Aussie Open Grand Slam and the Boxing Day test. It is also a witness to the ODI World Cup finals. Despite all this, it was still surprised by the pace at which the tickets got snapped up online for Sunday’s World T20 game between arch-rivals India and Pakistan.

A local Melbourne Radio host exclaimed, “How is it possible for tickets to be sold out in just 10 minutes?”

“After so many years, India and Pakistan will play in Melbourne. The last time they played against each other here was in the 1980s. There is a big buzz and everyone is looking forward to this Sunday. It will be a big carnival for the expats here,” explained  Jaspreet Manku, a fan who is hoping to witness the action live.

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With demand soaring through the roof, AirBnB rooms have been priced at four-to-five fold the regular prices in Melbourne. The fans are having to pay an extra Rs 12000 in the name of cleaning charge for a three-night stay. The hotels are massively overbooked.

“Around 900 people have booked with us for the India vs Pakistan game and they will all fly in before the game. So imagine the situation: we have to do bulk booking for them in advance. The fans are coming from the US, UK, Canada and all parts of the world to watch this game,” said Raj Khandwala, the CEO of Cutting Edge Sports. 

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Due to this huge rush and demand, there are ticket touts hunting around, selling tickets as high as six times their actual rate. The Victoria government has advised against purchasing tickets from unauthorised dealers, yet sales are ongoing.

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Amid all the fervour and excitement, the Indian cricket team had an optional practice round with Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik having brief sessions on the field.