DUBAI: The final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will be held in Lahore whether the foreign players agree to come or not, it was decided in a meeting between PSL Chairman Najam Sethi and the five franchise owners on Monday.
“There was a high level meeting held earlier today between the PSL management and franchise owners, chaired by the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Executive Committee and the PSL, Mr Najam Aziz Sethi.
“Among various administrative and event discussions, 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, also the head office of both the PCB and the PSL.
“It has been heart-warming to see the dedication of all the owners to the cause of taking cricket back home and there is a realisation that this final will be the first step in opening the gates to international teams starting to make the journey again. We are all committed to this mission and wish to have a thoroughly entertaining final where it should happen — in Lahore,” read the PCB press release.
Earlier it was reported that the franchise owners had showed some reservations over the staging of the final at the Gaddafi Stadium, however, after a meeting with Sethi, all the franchise owners have agreed to play the PSL final in Lahore.
A list of all the players who agree to play in Lahore will be prepared and given to the two finalists who will then pick the players through a draft.
Bangladesh players will leave on February 28 as they have to prepare for the series against Sri Lanka, along with English players, who have other commitments.
West Indies players, and other international players, will have an option to travel with the teams to Lahore. Whoever agrees to go to Pakistan will have their names on the list.
Meanwhile, Sethi, in a tweet, invited Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Chief Ministers of all the four provinces to attend the final in Lahore.
Former players express their delight
Following the announcement that the final of the PSL would be held in Lahore, former players expressed their delight at the Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision, while two international players showed interest in travelling to Pakistan for the event.
Quetta Gladiators bowling coach Abdul Razzaq said that he has been waiting a long time to see such a huge tournament in Pakistan.
“This tournament has not only provided a big platform for the players to play with international stars but has highly entertaining for the fans. The final in Lahore will reignite the passion for the sport among the fans and youth of Pakistan. We had to wait a long time for this to happen and I’m sure this will send a strong and positive message to the international community,” he said.
Karachi Kings all-rounder Imad Wasim also lauded the decision and said that if people in Dubai and Sharjah enjoy these matches so much then he can only imagine how the people in Pakistan would react.
Meanwhile, Peshawar Zalmi’s Darren Sammy and Chris Jordan said they were looking forward to going to Lahore if their team reaches the final.