LAHORE - Despite tight security and a long route to the destination, passionate cricket fans came in large numbers to watch the second T20 match between the hosts and Sri Lanka on Monday.

Unlike previous international matches at the same venue, security arrangements this time were extraordinary and flow of the cricket fans towards the destination was smooth. After reaching the allotted parking at difference venues, cricket enthusiasts were brought to Nishtar Park Sports Complex through well-furnished buses. People however faced difficulties in reaching designated enclosures because there was no shuttle service available from that place to the stadium.

Young cricket enthusiast Shaji Ahmad said: “This time we reached Liberty Parking very smoothly and from there the shuttle service brought us to entrance to Nishtar Park Sports Complex. But we had to have a long walk to reach our enclosure because of lack of shuttle service. The organisers should have arranged shuttle service at the sports complex as well to help people reach their destination without any trouble.”

Another cricket fan, Yashal Mazhar, told this scribe that although he along with his friends enjoyed the match fully but in their enclosure nothing was available to eat and drink, which troubled them a lot. But everything was available in VIP enclosures. There must be no such discrimination so that everyone may enjoy the international cricket activity equally.”

LTC offers 30 air-conditioned coasters for free shuttle service

The Gaddafi Stadium has the capacity to host 24,000 people and 80 percent of the seats were full. Despite the fact that fans from every corner of the country were ready to come and watch the matches between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the organizers couldn’t fill the stadium to capacity. They need to make sure that the entire arena must be filled with cricket lovers in the third and last T20.

Cricket fan Hina Malik told this scribe that she and her university friends are passionately following the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series. “We are highly grateful to the Sri Lankan government and cricket board for sending their team to Pakistan. This helped Pakistani people see international activity at home grounds.

“We really enjoyed both T20s, where the visitors displayed better skills and won hearts of Pakistani people. We have also bought tickets for the third T20 and we are hopeful that we will enjoy it with better arrangements on part of the government and the PCB,” she said.

The Lahore Transport Company (LTC) offered free shuttle coaster service here on Monday for the second T-20 cricket match from FC College to Fifa Gate of Gaddafi Stadium, instead of making parking arrangements. According to a spokesperson, the LTC is plying 30 air-conditioned coasters free shuttle service for cricket enthusiasts for reaching cricket stadium to experience on-ground second T20 International Cricket match to facilitate the general public, which was coming to see the cricket match.

In accordance with the arrangements, officials of operations and enforcement department of the LTC would be available at various points for guidance of general public.