Pakistan legends slam the move to hold PSL final in Lahore
Pakistan legends have had their say over the PSL final being held in Lahore
What’s the story?
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s decision to allow the PSL to go ahead with its plan of holding the final of the second edition of the league in Lahore has been met with absolute derision by some of their most famous cricketers of all time.
1992 World Cup winning captain, Imran Khan – “It's madness, it's a bad idea, the (security) situation is not good. Why are we taking a chance? International cricket won't return to Pakistan like this if we lock down the whole of Lahore." while speaking to a local television channel.
Former great batsman Javed Miandad – “Holding the final now is going to be a big challenge for the PCB and government. The way I see it all this is happening because of a stubborn child"
Former Test opener Shoaib Muhammad – "Can the PCB guarantee us that if we have a smooth PSL final we will be seeing Australia, South Africa or England coming to Pakistan to play in the next few months"
PSL organizers decided to go ahead with the initial plan of organizing the final at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore despite a series of bomb blasts that rocked the city on the 14th of February.
The PSL final is set to go ahead amidst an air of uncertainty that will surround the event. Determined to showcase the country’s ability to organize international-level cricket matches again, the administrators are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the event goes ahead.
If reports are to believed, all roads leading to the Gaddafi Stadium have been closed to the public. Further, all shops and restaurants in the vicinity have also been ordered to shut shop until the completion of the final on the 5th of March.
Punjab’s Law Minister has assured that over 10,000 security personnel will be deployed to ensure that peace is kept during the final.
While the organizers may choose to pay no heed to the harsh words of the Pakistan legends, they face another major stumbling block before the final takes place. There remains uncertainty over the availability of a number of foreign players for the final.
Players like Kumar Sangakkara have indicated that they will be uncomfortable making the journey to Lahore for the game.
The Pakistan cricket legends certainly know more about cricket in the country than anybody else. They are simply voicing out their concerns as the plan, on paper, does appear to be shrouded in chaos.
Pakistan have not entertained an international side at home since 2009 and if the purpose of organizing the PSL final at Lahore is to regain the confidence of other playing countries, it might not serve the purpose.
If the final goes ahead peacefully, it is just the first step in a long road for Pakistan cricket to return to cricket normalcy.