India-Pakistan clash would certainly be one of the highlights of the Games: Commonwealth CEO

India and Pakistan Team. ©ICC

Ian Reid, CEO of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, has told PTI that the semifinals and final tickets for cricket have already been sold out. He added that the India- Pakistan fixture is also likely to be a sell out.

Women’s cricket will be making its first appearance at the tournament. India will take on Pakistan at Edgbaston in Birmingham on July 31. Birmingham has a significant number of people with their origins in India and Pakistan.

“I am a big cricket fan myself. India are in the same group as Pakistan, so that has really caught the interest here in Birmingham. It is an iconic venue, your men’s team recently played here over the last few weeks. So it would certainly be one of the highlights of the Games,” Reid told PTI.

“The semifinals and final tickets have already been sold out, probably with the expectation that India and England will be there. India and Pakistan will be close to capacity. We will see an uptick in sale of tickets much closer to the event. So I expect that India-Pakistan game to be sold out soon.” More than 5000 athletes will take part in the Games, which will be the biggest sporting event in the UK since the London Olympics in 2012.

“We have sold 1.2 million tickets for the event. We expect that number to go up as we get closer to the Games. So by far the biggest sporting event in the UK since London 2012.

“We will have about 45000 volunteers and paid staff working on the event. It is a huge event for the region and the city,” Reid added.

The Commonwealth Games will see participation from as many as 72 countries, while cricket will see participation from eight teams divided into two groups of four each with the top two teams in each group advancing to the semi-finals.