Ecstatic cricket fans in Lahore are in search of tickets for the PSL final
Return of cricket in Pakistan has sent the fans into a frenzy.
What’s the story?
Cricket-starved fans in Pakistan are excited like never before, and rightly so. This is the first time a Pakistan Super League game will be played in the cricket-crazy country. The fans are not worried about which overseas player will play the final and which won’t; all they want to know is where they can get a ticket for themselves.
“I came to the bank as early as 6:30 a.m. and after seven hours I got hold of a ($5) ticket,” Ali Hussain, a 22-year-old businessman told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
“We went to at least five branches but couldn’t find even one ticket,” said Faiza Tasleem, a university student.
The PSL organisers claimed that 10,000 tickets of the 27,000-capacity Gaddafi Stadium will be sold for $5. The remaining tickets, meanwhile, have been priced at $38, $76 and $114.
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PCB chief Shaharyar Khan has vowed that the current wave of terrorism that has hit different parts of the country will not affect the PSL final which would be held under strict security arrangements.
He also stated that a successful final will definitely send a positive message to all nations that the security situation in Pakistan is improving and international cricket can slowly resume in the country.
The heart of the matter
As a security precaution, entry to the Gaddafi stadium will only be permitted once spectators show their ID at various security checkpoints on Sunday.
Coming to the cricketing aspect of things, for the fans of the Quetta Gladiators, things do not bode well. The side will play the finals without all of its key overseas cricketers after Luke Wright, Tymal Mills and Kevin Pietersen all flew back to England after winning their playoff game against Peshawar Zalmi by one run on Tuesday night, citing security concerns.
The PSL organisers, however, have shortlisted 60 foreign players who have agreed to travel to Lahore.
The provincial government has promised added security for Sunday’s grand finale amidst the recent wave of terrorist attacks that killed dozens of people around the country.
Peshawar will have one more chance to make it to the final when it meets the winner of Thursday’s match between defending champions Islamabad United and Karachi Kings.
Since Pakistan is known as a cricket-crazy country, it comes as no surprise that hundreds of fans around Lahore on Wednesday went from bank to bank looking for tickets. Watching their favourite stars play live in their own backyard will be something the fans have yearned for ever since the 2009 attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus which stalled international cricket in the country.
We are hopeful that it is the action on the field that takes centre stage on Sunday and not any incident off it.