World Cup fever catches Pakistan

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Karachi, Feb 26 (PTI) Pakistan seems to have put behindthe disappointment of not hosting any World Cup match withsome cricket fans expressing their enthusiasm by buildingworld''s biggest and longest bat and converting schools intomini-theatres.

Pakistan, rated as the dark horse of the 2011 edition ofthe mega-event, lost their share of World Cup matches when theInternational Cricket Council moved away around 14 ties fromthe volatile country after the terror attack on the Sri Lankanteam in Lahore in March, 2009.

However, it has not dampened the enthusiasm and passionof the cricket fans here though many Pakistanis are feelingthe pain of not being a host country for the quadrennialevent.

"We are all Pakistanis and I don�t think our feeling ofpatriotism and nationalism is more evident than during theWorld Cup," a spokesman for the Pasban party said.

Pasban is the students wing of the politico-religiousJamaat-e-Islaami and they have got into the World Cup actionby claiming to have built the longest and biggest bat in theworld.

The bat built out of sheesham wood and iron was put ondisplay in Karachi on the eve of Pakistan''s match against SriLanka for a signature drive.

"The bat is around 50 feet long and six feet in width andis easily enough the biggest cricket bat built in the world.

It is our way of getting all Pakistanis to participate inwishing our team good luck," said pasban leader, Shakoor.

The bat which has become a major attraction is movedaround with the help of a crane and has been placed in theGulshan-e-Iqbal area with hundreds of people includingcelebrities taking part in the signature drive.

The World Cup fever is not just limited to the urbancities. A group of enterprising youngsters in the remoteKohistan area in the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province have takencontrol of a run-down school building to set up a mini theatrefor the World Cup matches.

According to a report the youngsters decided to pool inmoney and buy a satellite dish and TV to set up the minitheatre as there is no cable service available in the remoteKohistan are.

And the youngsters are now charging 50 rupees fromenthusiasts keen on watching the World Cup matches in the minitheatre. .

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