A scene from Gaddafi Stadium.
LAHORE: The city remained calm after Pakistan lost the World Cup semi final match to India on Wednesday.
No violence, sabotage or vandalism however, was reported from any part of the city as feared by some police officers .Most city roads had remained deserted throughout the day.
Cricket fans and others, who had gathered at public places to watch the match on large screens, had already started leaving once Shahid Afridi was out.
Following the announcement of a half-day, attendance at offices had remained thin.
Special arrangements were made at several hotels, shops and markets where large screens were installed to show the match. Several colleges and universities had also arranged special viewing of the match at the campuses.
Business at major markets was also low throughout the day.
Sizable groups of people gathered at Hall Road, the Punjab Group of Colleges and St Mary’s Park where screens were installed for public viewing. Private arrangements were also made at some banquet halls, farm houses and clubs. The biggest gathering, however, was sponsored by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) screening the match at Gaddafi Stadium. Thousands of citizens had queued up outside the stadium before the match started. Jawad Ahmad, Arif Lohar and Jassi Singh were invited by the PCB to entertain the crowd during the breaks.
Significant police contingents were deployed at and around the stadium to maintain order and to ward of any untoward incident.
Imran Ali, one of the spectators at Gaddafi Stadium, said that Pakistan should not have let India score 260 in the first place. He said had the Pakistani team bowled or fielded a little better, they would have won. He said he was still satisfied with the team’s performance in the tournament.
Danish Haq, another spectator, said that the responsibility for the defeat lay equally with the batsmen. He said the bowlers had successfully played their part. “We are still happy that our team managed to reach the semi finals,” adding, “But a win against India would have made everyone much happier.”
Traffic on city roads started returning to normal after the match was over.