Pindi gears up to host its first PSL ‘home’ game

3,000 cops to be deployed during the match for security

Imran Asghar/zulfiqar Baig February 26, 2020
Islamabad United players during a practice session ahead of their PSL-20 match against the Quetta Gladiators scheduled for February 27 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. PHOTO: ONLINE

RAWALPINDI: Having recently hosted the Bangladesh national team for a test-match, the garrison city is ready to host another cricket tournament, this time playing host for a fixture of the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL).

This time, however, Rawalpindi will host the first ‘home’ match for Islamabad United as the twice former champions take on the defending champions Quetta Gladiators. In the second phase of the tournament, matches have shifted from Lahore and Karachi to Rawalpindi and Multan. The Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is due to host eight matches of the tournament.

All the arrangements for the match, including the security arrangements have been completed and the citizens are excited to see international players perform yet again before them. On Tuesday, Islamabad United trained at the stadium under the watchful eyes of Coach Misbahul Haq.

Security arrangements

During Islamabad United’s practice session, Rawal SP Mazhar Roy led security arrangements.

He said that apart from police officers, personnel from the Army and the paramilitary Rangers had been deployed to ensure complete security for PSL matches. He added that as many as 3,000 police officers will perform duties during the match. They will be backed up by six companies of rangers and army.

“Security arrangements have been developed such that the citizens are least bothered,” said the SP.

On match day, Roy said that the players will arrive at the stadium amid a special cordon. Moreover, the metro bus service will be suspended for a short period.

Moreover, to ensure smooth entry for fans, officials said that they had increased the number of entry points or gates to the stadium from 10 to 17.

Despite that, they said that spectators will be checked seven different times, including frisking at multiple points.

The National Database Regulatory Authority (NADRA) has established separate counters for biometric verification of spectators.

PCB expecting packed stadium

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials have said that they have completed seating arrangements for as many as 17,000 spectators and hoped that citizens from the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi will throng the stadium on the match days.

Noting that new seats have been installed in all enclosures of the stadium, the officials said that people will not be allowed to bring anything with them from outside, including food items, and that everything will be provided to them within the stadium’s premises. They hoped for a good turnout for the first home game to be hosted at the stadium for PSL. 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2020.


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