People suffer while fans enjoy cricket


KARACHI: It was a curfew-like situation for miles on key routes around the National Stadium on Monday as Pakistan and Sri Lanka played the second ODI on Monday. A large number of people faced huge problems in reaching their destinations, writes Alam Zeb Safi.This correspondent saw an ailing woman fall unconscious on the sealed point at Karsaz. She was being taken to home in a rickshaw after being discharged from Jinnah Hospital. But as the route at Karsaz leading towards the National Stadium had been blocked, the family had to take an alternative route to reach home in Nazimabad. Several women were seen carrying their children while walking in scorching heat on Karsaz road.“It is totally unjust. Women should be respected,” a woman told this correspondent. The residents of KDA schemes were confined to their homes. They had to opt for alternative routes which had put them in deep trouble.”Cricket has been a big nuisance for us. We have been restricted to our homes. We are not allowed to use Karsaz road. We also faced such issues when PSL matches were being played,” a man living in the KDA Scheme 1 told ‘The News’.“Why are these areas being sealed which are very far away from the main venue where the match is being held,” he said. This correspondent also walked under simmering heat from Karsaz to National Stadium.Meanwhile, the fans coming from the Civic Centre were happy as they had been provided with shuttle buses which brought them to the gates of the venue. “Everything was fine. We came here without facing any problem and were provided with shuttle bus at the Civic Centre,” a spectator said.The spectators, mostly school and college students, were enthusiastic. By the end of the first session the crowd at the stadium had grown quite large. There were a large number of people who used the tickets that they bought for Friday’s first ODI, which had been washed out.Heavy contingents of police and Rangers had been deployed in and around the venue.The teams were brought to the venue under unprecedented security arrangements. A helicopter was also seen hovering around the venue. As fans thronged the venue, young Mohammad Ali was happy selling Pakistan’s flaglets.”I earned Rs1500 on the eve of the first match. And today I am going to earn more as more people are coming,” Ali said. Due to the recent heavy rains there was still water on both sides of the various gates through which spectators were entering the venue.
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