While India and Pakistani cricket fans are looking forward to the blockbuster clash between the arch-rivals in the Asia Cup in Dubai on August 28, thousands of miles away in Australia, the tickets for the ICC T20 World Cup clash between the two sides have already been sold out, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Despite the ICC T20 World Cup Down Under still 50 days away, Australian cricketer and ICC Men's T20 World Cup Multicultural Ambassador Usman Khawaja said on Saturday the tickets for the match had sold out like hot cakes and 80 per cent had been bought by those living in Australia.
India will play Pakistan in the Super 12 game of the T20 World Cup on October 23 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
"While Australia are the hosts of the event, this will be a home World Cup for people of all different backgrounds no matter where they are from. We've seen tickets sell out for the India and Pakistan match with over 80 per cent of those fans living here in Australia. This shows how big the opportunity is for cricket to engage fans of different backgrounds to be part of the Australian cricket family," said Khawaja, the Australian cricketer of Pakistan origin.
"The T20 World Cup is a massive global event and the fact that 16 teams will all be playing across Australia at the same time is very special. What I''m excited to see as being a part of the T20 Champions programme is the fans of all the different teams coming to the stadiums to celebrate their heritage and passion for cricket," said Khawaja at the Sydney Harbour as the flags of all 16 competing teams were flown over the city and its world-famous landmarks, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge on Saturday.
A total of 16 teams featuring the world's best cricketers will play in the the global showpiece event, which begins in on October 16, with the final to be played at the MCG on November 13.
In Western Australia, the T20 World Cup Trophy arrived in Perth with former all-rounder Shane Watson bringing the trophy to local fans via helicopter. A 50-day countdown clock and mural was also unveiled in Geelong, where the opening match of the T20 World Cup will be played between 2014 champions Sri Lanka and Namibia on October 16.
Over 800,000 fans are expected to attend the T20 World Cup.
ICC Men's T20 World Cup Local Organising Committee CEO Michelle Enright said, "With only 50 days to go until the T20 World Cup, our message is that this is a World Cup for everyone. It will be an unmissable celebration of cricket and the many different cultures that makes up its extraordinary global fanbase."