Kochi ODI could be a sell-out

Kochi, Jan 14 (IANS) Tickets for the second ODI between India and England here slated for Tuesday are selling like the proverbial hotcakes and the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) is hopeful that the match would be sold out.

Tickets worth Rs.1 crore had already been sold and KCA said the remaining tickets valued at Rs.20 lakh would also be sold by the evening.

There are 52,000 tickets up for sale.

"By now the sales have crossed Rs 1.30 crore and this time we have slashed ticket charges. The price for a chair seat is Rs.500, while one in the gallery has been kept at Rs.200. But despite a full house, the biggest collection that we have had is Rs.2.12 crore during the India vs Pakistan clash in 2005," KCA secretary K.C. Mathew told IANS.

Security has been beefed up at the 52,000 seater Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, which will be manned by a record 2,000-strong force from the Kerala police.

"All security arrangements are in place and the entire ground is under CCTV. Besides, 325 fire extinguishers are also placed. No alcohol is permitted and also no umbrellas," said Inspector General of Police K. Padmakumar.

The entire gallery has a roof and police have asked spectators to leave their umbrellas back home.

"Thank god this time, the weather looks so bright and sunny and the only problem would be the heat. But with the city already in festive mood, come rain or sunshine, we are all excited and just waiting for the first ball to be bowled. Of course India will win," said a youth at the stadium.

The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, which also hosts football matches, has staged seven ODIs in the past 14 years.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is likely to drop in along with superstars like Mammootty and Mohanlal.

The pitch curator P.V.Ramachandran has said a batting feast is on the cards.

"There is enough grass on the pitch and water is being poured and being rolled," said Ramachandran.

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