Chris Gayle has hilarious reply to playing PSL final in Pakistan
What’s the story?
With the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) determined to host the final of the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore, the focus has shifted to the overseas players belonging to the various franchises. Amidst uncertainty regarding the availability of leading foreign stars for the summit clash, Karachi Kings opener Chris Gayle has tackled the issue in his own hilarious manner.
When asked if he will be willing to travel to Lahore for the PSL final, Gayle came up with a funny riposte. Speaking to Wisden India, he jested, “Well, if you take me, I will come with you. Invite me, man. Now you invite me and then you may see me.“
On his poor form during the initial phase of the tournament, the left-hander quipped, “(It’s) because of the weather. It’s very cold, didn’t get any sunshine. That’s the reason. I am just kidding. I wasn’t playing much cricket. So (I was) definitely rusty and was travelling and haven’t been practising, so it showed in the middle. But I am a professional and I am not going to find any excuse.”
Despite a slew of recent terror attacks in Lahore (capital city of Pakistan’s Punjab region), the province’s Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has approved the recommendation of the Law and Order committee and provincial/federal security institutions to organise the PSL final in the city.
The heart of the matter
Since the gruesome terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team during March 2009, foreign players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. As a consequence, the cricket-mad country has not been able to host any international or high-profile cricket match barring the brief limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in 2015.
Even though the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) have warned overseas players against travelling to Pakistan in light of the unstable situation in the nation, PSL’s organisers are intent on utilising the league as a platform to bring cricket back to Pakistan.
Having scored just 59 runs from the first six games in the tournament, Gayle was under immense pressure in Karachi’s last group match. However, the 37-year-old came good in the vital clash against defending champions Islamabad United. He smashed a 17-ball 44 to help his side chase down 124 from 15 overs and progress to the knockout stages.
Although PCB have reportedly offered USD 10,000 to 50,000 as an additional guarantee for the overseas players willing to travel to Lahore for the final, plenty of big names including Gayle and Karachi skipper Kumar Sangakkara remain unwilling to visit Pakistan for the summit clash.
The proposed heavy security notwithstanding, any untoward incident could cause more harm to their chances of bringing cricket back to the country.