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Fans Throng Theatres to Watch India vs Paksitan T20 World Cup Match


Last Updated: October 23, 2022, 19:10 IST


T20 World Cup: India fans at Melbourne Cricket Ground (AP)

T20 World Cup: India fans at Melbourne Cricket Ground (AP)

At the Melbourne Cricket Ground, 90,293 fans witnessed the India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup clash

Thousands of cricket fans flooded cinema halls across the country on Sunday to watch India pull off a sensational win against arch-rivals Pakistan in their ICC T20 World Cup opener.

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Virat Kohli single-handedly powered India to an epic four-wicket win over Pakistan with a magnificent 53-ball 82 not out in their big-ticket game in Melbourne. India needed 160 in 20 overs to clinch the game, which the ‘Men in Blue’ did in the last ball, with Kohli and Hardik Pandya (40) doing the bulk of the scoring after a horror start to their innings.

While some lucky ones witnessed the rivalry play on the field at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), many tuned to their TV and smartphone screens. Other cricket fans were glued to comfortable seats at the theatres where they saw the events unfold on the 70mm screen.

India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 Highlights

Whenever a wicket would fall on the opposition side or an Indian batter would score a six, Indian fans in theatres would jump from their seats with a Tricolour in their hand and fill the dark auditorium with a deafening round of applause and whistles.

Many times, one would see an audience member record a moment from the match to share on social media.

Leading multiplex chains INOX Leisure Ltd and PVR Cinemas are screening all matches to be played by India at the World Cup 2022 in their cinema halls across the country.

Following an agreement with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in this regard, INOX Leisure had last week said it will showcase all group matches to be played by Team India, followed by the semi-finals and the final match.

While screening of cricket matches is “not a new trend", it is a highly profitable venture, said Rajender Singh Jyala, chief programming officer, INOX Leisure Ltd.

India versus Pakistan cricket matches are a big draw every time and the scenario is no different for Sunday’s match, he said.

The shows at cinema halls were “houseful", pretty much like the sell-out Super 12 clash of the T20 World Cup to be played at the MCG.

“In the past, we have shown cricket and football matches. It is scheduled by the ICC or FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) or whenever they have tournaments.

“Like, a month ago we had Asia cup matches being screened, before that we had the last World Cup two-three years ago. In a business sense, that particular event is profitable as the show is houseful," Jyala told PTI.

PVR Cinemas, another prominent film theatre company, is also screening all matches played by India as well as semi-finals and the final of the tournament. Sunday’s game was live streamed in 100 screens across 45 cities in India.

Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, JMD, PVR Ltd, said the match screening is part of the multiplex chain’s strategy of serving diverse content to customers.

“PVR has always had a diversified content strategy. We are constantly looking at ways in which we can expand our content offerings, exhibition of tomorrow’s game is a step in the same direction," Bijli told PTI.

Without revealing the official figures, Bijli said the pre-sales of the match showcase were “strong".

According to Jyala, the cricket match was screened in 90 INOX screens across India, except southern states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and other places.

“An India and Pakistan cricket match generates curiosity and whenever we open for advance booking, the tickets are sold out soon, whether it is World Cup or Asia Cup. Besides India versus Pakistan, the big matches against Australia, South Africa, and England also get good traction," he said.

Jyala also informed the ticket prices for Sunday’s match differed from location to location, starting from Rs 250 to Rs 500 for the live telecast, which was screened between 1.30 pm and 5.30 pm.

Earlier this year in March, INOX Leisure and PVR had announced a merger to create the country’s largest multiplex chain.

Last year, both PVR Cinemas and INOX Leisure Ltd had entered into a collaboration with the ICC to live screen all India games, along with the semi-finals and finals of the T20 World Cup (2021).

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    Back in 2010, many multiplex operators including PVR and INOX as well as single screen theatres had 3D screenings of four pre-final matches in theatres across India during the third season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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    (This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - PTI)
    first published:October 23, 2022, 19:08 IST
    last updated:October 23, 2022, 19:10 IST