European recession and Birmingham's great Indo-Pak rivalry

England's second most populous city has always been the first choice for the England and Wales Cricket Board when it has come to cricket matches featuring India and Pakistan.

updated: June 14, 2013 22:28 IST
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Birmingham: Tickets for Saturday's India-Pakistan ICC Champions Trophy are being sold at six-times their face value. This is normal before a game of such stature. With rains threatening the clash between the arch-rivals, a few have even driven down from Derby to sell off their tickets and make a quick buck. But there are few things in the world that you can't exchange for money. A cricket match between India and Pakistan is one of them.

The European recession has had a big impact on Asians here. In his late thirties, Kamu, his real name is Kamaldeep Singh, has been driving a taxi in Birmingham for the last 12 years. He belongs to Kapurthala and loves cricket and hockey. But can't afford to buy a ticket, take a day off and go to Edgbaston to see India's cricket stars.

"It's impossible to do something like this. It's difficult days now. Jobs are scarce and you must drive a taxi for at least nine hours a day. Even if I got the time, I can't buy a ticket for 200 Pounds (about INR 17,000). It's next to impossible spending that kind of money when you have a family to feed," says Kamu.

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