Ashish Nehra reveals how Afridi and Akhtar helped him getting tickets for India-Pakistan clash in 2011 World Cup

Nehra, who ended the match with figures of 2/33 explained how India's former selector and cricketer K Srikkanth was not able to find a room in the hotels.

Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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India and Pakistan have always had the best rivalry in cricket. People say Australia and England have the greatest rivalry but in terms of the craziness around, nobody can beat the subcontinent neighbours. When we add the World Cup to it, the picture glorifies. India has met Pakistan eight times in World Cups and has never lost a single game but all the matches have been so intense due to the involvement of two craziest cricket nations.

The 2011 World Cup battle between India and Pakistan was even special. It was happening in India and it was the semi-final, nobody knew that the match will happen between these two as the previous matches were knockouts. The prime minister of India announced that there won’t be any power cut in the whole country. The streets were silent, and it was like a curfew.

Imagine the atmosphere in Chandigarh where the match was happening. A small city with less no. of 5-star hotels and so many crickets fans coming from all around the world. It also turned out to be the last ODI game of one of the best limited-overs fast bowlers produced by India, Ashish Nehra. He spoke about the same on Widen’s podcast.

“Two-three days before that match, nobody knew that India and Pakistan would meet in the semifinals. Everything happened very quickly, in 72 hours, everyone came to know that Pakistan is facing India in World Cup semifinals. And I have not seen anything like that. There were not too many five-star hotels in Chandigarh, there was one Mount View hotel and teams were staying in Taj. And I had seen people coming from America or England, you just name it, and they didn’t have tickets.”

Out of the 30 players, I had most number of tickets: Ashish Nehra

Nehra, who ended the match with figures of 2/33 explained how India’s former selector and cricketer K Srikkanth was not able to find a room in the hotels. The pacer wanted his family to come and watch the knockout game but was not able to arrange the tickets.

He also mentioned that Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar helped the cricketer to get some tickets from the Pakistani quota. The match was a very high profile game as the Prime Ministers of both the countries were present along with a lot of diplomats. India won the game and eventually won the 2011 World Cup in Mumbai a couple of nights later.

“I was the lucky one, to be very honest because I got a few extra tickets from the Pakistan camp. I told Shahid Afridi that I need two tickets, sort it out. Then I got two tickets from him and two tickets from Shoaib Akhtar. Waqar Younis was the coach, so maybe, out of the 30 players, I had the most number of tickets.” he added.