Ludhiana: Hundreds gather at Kipps market to catch Indo-Pak face-off on giant screen

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Ludhiana: Hundreds gather at Kipps market to catch Indo-Pak face-off on giant screen
© Provided by Hindustan Times Ludhiana residents gather to catch the match on giant screen at Sarabha Nagar Market on Sunday. (Harsimar Pal Singh/HT)

Hundreds of Ludhiana residents thronged the Kipps market in Sarabha Nagar on Sunday evening to watch the high-voltage India-Pakistan T-20 World Cup face-off on the 50×20-ft wide screen installed by the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) under the Smart City Mission.

It proved to be a perfect Karva Chauth outing for residents as the match started just an hour before the expected time of moon sighting. Special arrangements were made for women to break their fast as special stalls were installed in the market.

The MC had also made special seating arrangements for the public. Tight security was in place during the telecast, however, Covid protocols went for a toss as residents were seen violating distancing norms. There was no visible provision for hand sanitisers either.

The market, however, was completely decked up with tri-colour balloons and special lighting. Swings had also been set for children.

Many got their face painted with the colours of the Indian flag, from a free stall installed at the entrance. The enthusiasm among the crowd was hard to miss. As India lost both its openers early, the roaring crowd went completely silent. The vigour was restored after Captain Virat Kohli along with batsman Surya Kumar Yadav followed by Rishabh Pant did some power hitting and steadied the Indian batting line up.

As fans waived the national flags high in the air, the huge DJ system installed at the side of the screen played patriotic songs and charged the crowd as the slogans of “Vande Matram” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai” rocked the market. Blazing performances by bhangra artistes also boosted the mood of the crowd who joined in and danced to the beats of the dhol. With every power shot, fire crackers and rockets lit up the skies. The restaurants in the market were packed and a huge rush was witnessed at a few food stalls installed in the open.

Cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, deputy commissioner Varinder Sharma, LIT chairman Raman Balasubramaniam and MC commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal cheered team India along with the crowd. Ludhiana DC Varinder Sharma said, “It is wonderful to see people enjoying with their families and this is what we aimed at. An Indian-Pakistan match is always full of excitement and people watching it together on big screen made it even special.

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