General admission tickets costing Dh150 are being sold between Dh300 to Dh450.
Cricket fever is once again rising in the UAE as archrivals India and Pakistan get ready to lock horns in the ongoing Asia Cup on Wednesday. Tickets for most key matches are sold out on official platforms, with fans not being able to lay their hands on them for love or money. Needless to say, the Indo-Pak clash has witnessed the highest demand for tickets among all the Asia Cup matches being played in the UAE (win tickets to the India vs Pakistan match here).
Quick to latch on to the strong demand, certain individuals with an entrepreneurial bent of mind have even put out tickets for the “mother of all games” on local classified websites at a premium of three times than the original price. General admission tickets costing Dh150 are being sold between Dh300 to Dh450 with some even offering a Dh100 discount on the purchase of four tickets or more.
The India and Pakistan faceoff will be held at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, September 19. Zahid Iqbal, a supervisor in a construction company in Abu Dhabi, said it is the Internet era so people are free to buy and sell anything they own such as their personal belongings.
“When you have an event where India and Pakistani are facing each other on the cricket ground after a long time, many people who’re not cricket aficionados try to make money out of it by buying tickets in bulk and then sell it online or through friends,” said Iqbal. The tickets, sold in batches to avoid just such a scenario, went like hotcakes within an hour of their respective launch. India and Pakistan have been bracketed in Group A along with Hong Kong while Group B consists of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
The India-Pakistan match tickets on local classifieds site are targeting fans of both countries, with the Orange Zone tickets dedicated for Indian fans and Green Zone ones allocated for Pakistani fans. Iqbal added that it’s always fun watching cricket matches in the UAE.
Some tickets, including for the finals, originally costing around Dh650 are being sold for Dh1,000. Interestingly, two season passes for all Asia Cup 2018 matches — including Indo-Pak match and the final — have also been put up for sale, priced at Dh2,600.
But is it legal?
Salma Anabtawi, customer support manager at dubizzle, said the classifieds website is a platform that facilitates and encourages fair trade. “People have the right to trade freely if they wish to sell something that they purchased because they can no longer use it, it is a choice. We have a dedicated customer support team who are always monitoring listings and act quickly to delete listings that are not in line with our posting rules if needed,” Anabtawi said in a statement to Khaleej Times.
However, in regards to reselling event tickets, if it is against the terms and conditions of the event organiser to resell tickets or a certain event organizer decides not to allow tickets resale for their event on our website, then Dubizzle will gladly collaborate with them on that, Anabtawi said.
“As long as they officially inform us beforehand – which in this case didn’t happen and that’s why you can find these listings on the platform,” Anabtawi added.
A statement from Dubai Sports City was awaited till the filing of this report.
“Though Pakistani side began the tour with a thumping victory over Hong Kong, India is never an easy opponent and the game will go down to the wire. Presence of Shoaib Malik in the national side will benefit the green shirts. Pakistani needs to be relaxed and take it as just another game. The team which will handle pressure well will take the match,” said Iqbal.
Harikrishnan Warrier, marketing manager in Dubai, says it’s a different kind of feeling when India plays against Pakistan. “Being a great fan of the Indian team, I hope our side will emerge victorious on Wednesday night and give us a chance to celebrate here in Dubai. Though the Indian side is strong enough to beat any team, anywhere, anytime, it will definitely miss its superstar Virat Kohli.”
Muhammad Adil, a delivery boy working in Dubai and a big fan of fast bowler Mohammed Amir, said he was desperate to watch Amir in action but the resale tickets were priced too high for him to buy at such a high premium.
“It is going to be final before the final. Pakistan versus India matches always enthral the audience and this is going to be another thriller. I regret that I could not get a ticket to watch my heroes playing in front of me in the stadium but plan to watch the match with my friends at home,” Adil said, adding that Fakhar Zaman and Muhammad Amir will make the difference.
According to Wikipedia, the two nations have played 129 one-day internationals where Pakistan clinched victory in 73 contests and 52 were won by India.