Pakistan waits with bated breath ahead of PSL final
- Author: Julie Sanders Mar 04, 2017,
Mar 04, 2017, 21:14
The rest of the Twenty20 tournament has been played in the United Arab Emirates where Pakistan have hosted most of their worldwide cricket since a terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus eight years ago. For the Pakistan Cricket Board it's a challenge to showcase that it can once again safely host global teams.
It is a minor miracle that the match is going ahead in Lahore, the dedication of PCB chairman Najam Sethi managing to convince those that needed convincing that the match can go ahead without incident.
The participation of the tournament's worldwide stars had been in doubt after security fears increased following two deadly bomb blasts in Lahore last month which left 23 people dead and over 100 injured.
Since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March 2009, worldwide cricket has not returned.
In a video message, the former Pakistan T20I captain said doctors have instructed him to rest for 10 days after he injured his right hand during the play-off match against Karachi Kings.
Afridi, who recently announced his retirement form global cricket, helped his franchise reach the final of the PSL.
The swashbuckling right-hander had also announced his retirement from global cricket during the tournament.
The en mass take up of tickets for the final proves just what cricket of this magnitude means to the Pakistan public and the stringent policing of the surrounding area to the stadium an indictment of the risk they are taking to watch a final that many in Dubai would take for granted.
The provincial government has promised at least 7,000 police officers to guard the surroundings of Gaddafi Stadium, and encouraged spectators to travel to the venue well ahead of the final to avoid long delays at security checkpoints.
However, PTI chief has refused saying "I am thankful to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman for this invitation but can not come to Lahore to watch the final". "It was my big wish that I could play in front of my own people in Lahore but sorry, not possible because of his this". He was unsure of how the world would react to playing in a stadium outside which roads are blocked and security is heavy.
Any security lapses would be a massive setback, he added, saying "we can say goodbye to int cricket in Pak for the next decade".