(PKONWEB Report) – More than 15,000 security personnel have been deployed for Sunday’s finale of Pakistan Super League 3rd Edition at the National Stadium in Karachi– Pakistan’s economic powerhouse and the City of Lights.
The Sindh province’s capital and country’s financial center is hosting the international-level cricket match after a gap of 9 years. Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi will battle for the championship– Peshawar Zalmi will be defending the PSL crown.
Karachiities have been given an opportunity to enjoy this historical event in a city that once remained in the grip of terrorism, targeted killings and frequent shutter-down strikes. The writ of the state finally set in after military under the National Action Plan threw the gauntlet sending chaotic forces at work in a tailspin.
Over the years, peace has returned to the megacity– Pakistan’s largest urban multicultural ‘Manhattan’ and the new normal is return of its social, cultural, art, literary and sports activities.
The acid test for Pakistan’s commercial hub — which in the not-too-distant-past had been plagued by ethnic violence, terrorism and civic problems — is to ensure foolproof security for the fans, the teams and hordes of VIPs who will be in attendance at the stadium. There are other stiff challenges too such as keeping the traffic storm from running riot, etc.
Not taking any chance, the security of the hosting Stadium has been divided into three layers – the Rangers, the Rangers and police, and the police.
Routes leading to the National Stadium were placed under a ‘virtual curfew’ on Saturday as security forces have sealed all the connecting roads by erecting barricades in order to secure the area for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final match.
Personnel of law enforcement agencies have also been deputed in order to stop anyone from entering the sealed roads.
Only spectators possessing valid identity cards and PSL tickets will be allowed to travel on the roads sealed by law enforcement agencies for the match.
Spectators will arrive at the stadium using a shuttle service provided by the government after parking their cars and motorcycles at the five designated spots.
Ever present threats of terrorism loom in the city but law enforcers are determined that the match will proceed peacefully and set a precedent for future matches to be held in the port city. “We are mentally and physically prepared to provide protection to all,” said SHO Humayun Ahmed of the Aziz Bhatti police station in whose jurisdiction the stadium falls. “We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the sake of the country or to secure the lives of the citizens. We are also ready to take the lives of our enemies.”
The officer said that the police jawans do not have any need for orders to shoot on sight. “The officers or personnel on ground do not need any such orders,” he explained. “It is in our training to take action according to the ground situation or circumstances.”
The sprawling metropolis finally gets an opportunity of hosting top sides with the PSL finale and with the next week’s three-match series against current World T20 champions, the West Indies, to follow.
The build-up to the grand final in the bustling city of 21 million has been a breakneck race against time as the famous cricketing arena underwent a semi-cosmetic refurbishment during the last couple of months.
ISLAMABAD UNITED: Luke Ronchi, Sahibzada Farhan, J.P. Duminy (captain), Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Samit Patel, Shadab Khan Fahim Ashraf, Amad Butt, Mohammad Sami, Steven Finn, Zafar Gohar, Chadwick Walton, Iftikhar Ahmed.
PESHAWAR ZALMI: Kamran Akmal, Andre Fletcher, Mohammad Hafeez, Saad Nasim, Darren Sammy (captain), Liam Dawson, Umaid Asif, Chris Jordan, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sameen Gul, Mohammad Asghar, Khushdil Shah, Ibtisam Sheikh, Khalid Usman.
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Shozab Raza (Pakistan).
TV umpire: Ahmed Shahab (Pakistan).
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)