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PSL 2017: Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright and Tymal Mills refuse to play the final in Karachi

Cricketers fear security in Pakistan.

The Gaddafi Stadium always has heavy security

What’s the story?

PTI chairman Imran Khan’s comments about holding PSL final in Lahore as ‘madness’ has dissuaded Quetta Gladiators star batsman Kevin Pietersen from arriving in Lahore for the Pakistan Super League final.

As per reports by The News, Pietersen quoted PTI chairman Imran Khan’s ‘madness’ comments upon being asked if he would travel to Lahore to play the final of Pakistan Super League (PSL) season 2.

Following Pietersen’s decision, two other English stars of the Quetta Gladiators viz. Luke Wright and Tymal Mills also announced their decision of not playing in the final via social media.

In case you didn’t know...

A few days ago, Imran Khan had said on a news channel that the idea of having the PSL final in Lahore is madness to him. He perhaps wondered what message would be conveyed to the world by having heavy security and closed roads around the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.

The heart of the Matter

On Monday, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced that Pakistan will hold the final of its popular domestic T20 cricket league –  the Pakistan Super League -- on home soil for the first time, despite the frequent deadly attacks across the country.

While the very popular League, now in its second year, receives an estimated television viewership of over 50 million people in the cricket-crazy nation, all of its matches so far have been played in the United Arab Emirates.

Kevin Pietersen told his management that when Imran,  a Pakistani national was himself saying that holding final in Lahore was madness, then how could he go there.The batsman straightaway headed to London after Gladiators snatched a last ball victory over Peshawar Zalmi last night.

Parallels from the past

Time and again, cricketers have shown disapproval to playing cricket in Pakistan, which has not been a very safe place ever since the Sri Lankan bus carrying cricketers was attacked in 2009.

A few days ago, Andre Russell compared Pakistan to Iraq in terms of lack of safety. He said that he would be ready to play in Pakistan, but very reluctantly. The KKR all-rounder called Pakistan beautiful from the pictures that he has seen, but the matters the country is plagued with has scared the 28-year-old Jamaican. 

Sportskeeda’s Take

While the finalising of Lahore as the venue of the PSL finals is a much-awaited welcome for cricket fans in Pakistan, it would not be unfair to say that not just a cricketer, but anyone would choose their safety over their profession.

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