Buy T20 World Cup tickets instead of forcing your way in: Afghanistan captain Nabi tells fans

Published October 30, 2021
Pakistan and Afghanistan players react as a security man overpowers a pitch invader after Pakistan won the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match against Afghanistan in Dubai, UAE, on Friday. — AP
Pakistan and Afghanistan players react as a security man overpowers a pitch invader after Pakistan won the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match against Afghanistan in Dubai, UAE, on Friday. — AP

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi has pleaded with his country’s fans to “please buy tickets” instead of forcing their way into stadiums without a valid ticket at the T20 World Cup.

“Afghan fans, please buy tickets and come to the stadium, don’t repeat again, it’s not good,” Nabi said after losing a thrilling Group 2 game to Pakistan by five wickets on Friday night with Asif Ali smashing four sixes in the penultimate over.

Ticketless fans, mostly carrying Afghan flags, tried to enter the Dubai International Cricket Stadium and the International Cricket Council (ICC) said police closed all the gates an hour after the game had started “to maintain a safe and controlled environment inside the venue”.

The match began while swathes of fans outside the stadium were seen running toward the entrances. Those already inside had queued for hours and they generated a stunning atmosphere in a ground awash with colour and energy.

But the closure of gates deprived numbers of fans entry despite having valid tickets.

“The ICC, BCCI and ECB apologise to any fans with valid tickets who were unable to enter the stadium tonight and request they contact the ticket provider,” the ICC said.

The ICC also said that it had asked the Emirates Cricket Board to undertake a thorough investigation into the Friday night’s events “to learn any lessons and will work closely with authorities to ensure there is no repeat of this situation in future”.

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