Match screening allowed, Lucknow fans throng theatres


Lucknow : Cricket fans here thronged theatres Saturday to watch the India-Sri Lanka final, elated that the authorities had given their nod now after having refused permission to screen the India-Pakistan semifinal on the big screen.

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“Cricket fans are flocking to our counters for purchasing tickets. We have only a few tickets left now,” Shahdab Ali, duty manager at Pheonix Mall, told reporters here Saturday.

“We have a total of 432 seats reserved for the match. The tickets range from Rs.350-750. As fans were left disappointed by the district authorities who did not allow the theatres to show the India-Pakistan match Wednesday, they now don’t want to miss the chance of watching the match on the big screen,” he added.

Pashupati Pandey, a bank official, who came to the Phoenix mall to buy tickets, said: “It’s really heartening that the restrictions have been removed by the authorities. We hope the final match would be as exciting as the semifinal.”

Rohit Prakash, a research scholar at Lucknow University’s Chemistry Department, said: “Though we had to do some work in the lab today (Saturday), we managed to convince our guide not to come and instead watch the match.”

Citing “security reasons”, the district administration did not allow the multiplexes and cinema halls to show the semifinal. As a result, the theatres had to refund money to those who had already purchased tickets.

According to Lucknow District Magistrate Anil Sagar: “There are no restrictions now. The match can be shown on big screens and theatres.”

Besides Phoenix, malls like Wave in Gomti Nagar and some cinema halls have made arrangements to showcase the ‘grand finale’.

Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Brij Lal said: “We have directed the authorities to do the needful in terms of security arrangements with regard to the final match at the district level.”