Pakistan Super League final stays in Lahore, says Sethi
ISLAMABAD (AP) The Pakistan Super League final will be played in the city of Lahore next month despite a recent attack there which killed at least 13 people.
”PSL management and franchisees resolve By to hold final in Lahore,” PSL chairman Najam Sethi said in a tweet on Monday.
West Indies player Darren Sammy, who is leading Peshawar Zalmi and England’s Kevin Pietersen, representing Quetta Gladiators have reportedly said they will decide about their participation in the final at Lahore once their teams qualify for it.
A players’ group said there was still a considerable threat.
”The advice from our security consultants remains that there is heightened security risk for foreign players playing in Pakistan, including Lahore,” said Tony Irish, Chairman of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association FICA.
”It is up to each player to make a decision on whether or not he wishes to play in the PSL final in Lahore.”
Sethi met owners of all the five franchises in the United Arab Emirates during which it was unanimously decided to take the March 5 final to Lahore.
”All the team owners took time to reinforce their solidarity and conviction with the decision of taking the final of the PSL back to its rightful home, the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium, Lahore,” the Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement.
Last week doubts were raised over the Lahore final when a bomber targeted police escorting a rally by pharmacists, killed 13 people.
However, PSL organizers have the backing of the Pakistan government in providing tight security for the finalists.
Pakistan has not hosted any major test playing nation for the last seven years since terrorists attacked a Sri Lanka team bus – also in Lahore – in 2009.
Sethi thanked the five franchises – Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators – for agreeing to play the final in Lahore.
”It has been heart-warming to see the dedication of all the owners … this final will be the first step in opening the gates to international teams starting to make the journey again,” Sethi said in a statement.
”We are all committed to this mission and wish to have a thoroughly entertaining final where it should happen – in Lahore.”
Sethi had already said that all the five franchises could include new players from Wednesday’s fresh draft in case their present foreign players were reluctant to travel to Lahore due to security concerns.