Monday Feb 27, 2017
LAHORE: The Government of Punjab has given green signal to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for holding the final of Pakistan Super League in Lahore.
A high-level meeting of the provincial authorities was held in Lahore, with IG Punjab, DC and CCPO Lahore, other high-ups of the Punjab government and Pakistan Sports Board in presence.
Pakistan Super League Chairperson Najam Sethi while talking to the media in Lahore confirmed that the final would indeed be held in Lahore on March 5.
"The nation has shown its passion and unity. The Pakistani nation is peaceful and it will not be blackmailed," said Sethi, as he announced the final match will be held in Lahore.
Sethi said the tickets would go on sale from tomorrow, both online as well as at outlets. "Details [regarding tickets] will be available tomorrow," he said.
Hoping for the revival of cricket in Pakistan after the successful staging of PSL final, Sethi said, "Hopefully, after the success of PSL, we will send a message to the world and cricket will come back to its home. Cricket is the heartbeat of the Pakistani nation."
"We have to wait until March 3 to know which foreign players will travel to Lahore, as we still do not know which two teams will qualify," he said speaking about the participation of foreign players in the final.
"We have already spoken to all foreign players. I will go back to Dubai to speak [about the final]. Inshallah, foreign players will come," he said.
When asked by reporters, he said ticket prices would range from Rs500 to Rs12,000.
Speaking to Geo News, former cricketer Sikandar Bakht hailed the decision to host PSL final in Lahore. "Circumstances are not good all across the world. Unfortunately, we faced bad situation more often, but we are to fight terrorists."
"We have to send out a message that these terrorists can't defeat us," he added.
Ramiz Raja, in his word with Geo News, said, "It is good. This is a strong message and it should be backed by involving fans."
Asked will people be able to watch the final as only five days are left and tickets yet to be sold, Raja said,
"People will swarm the stadium if spirited efforts were made".
Sources said that CM made the decision after a meeting which lasted for two hours. The meeting had representatives from all provincial and federal security agencies.
Punjab government vowed to give foolproof security arrangements for the final during the meeting.
Sources told Geo News that shops and hotels outside Gaddafi Stadium will remain closed while Nishtar Sports Complex will also be sealed.
They said that traffic will not be allowed to arrive at the complex while Law Enforcement Agencies would conduct search operations regularly in the nearby areas.
Clouds of uncertainty had loomed over the final of Pakistan’s T20 tournament following a new wave of terrorism which hit the country over the past few weeks, in which over 100 people were killed and hundreds more injured.
One of the terrorist attacks was carried out in Lahore on February 13, in which 14 people lost their lives.
Despite the fresh concerns over security which arose, as a result, the PSL management and the franchise owners decided to hold the final in Lahore – a move aimed at bringing international cricket back to Pakistan and sending out a strong message to terrorists that their nefarious plans will not succeed.