Great Homecoming for International Cricket to Karachi the City of Lights After 9 Years

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif advised the foreign players not to miss out on trying traditional ‘Bundu Khan Ke Kebab’ while they are still in Karachi.

(PKONWEB Report) –  A jubilant crowd of thousands has thronged the Karachi National Stadium today for the Pakistan Super League 3rd Edition final between defending champions Peshawar Zalmi and inaugural champions Islamabad United– regardless of who wins today, the foolproof security and management system setup by the civil-military to bring cricket back to the country’s financial capital gets a thumbs up.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, all four provincial governors, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, his two sisters Bakhtawar and Aseefa arrived at the stadium to watch the PSL final– an event of international standard happening in the megacity after nearly 10 years, amidst high security and in the presence of a jam-packed crowd.

Big screens for live match were installed at around one dozen locations in the city. Musical concert and fireworks will also be conducted at the end of the match.

Karachi cricket lovers throng to the National Stadium for PSL 2018 Final

Mobile toilets were also installed at six parking zones. Besides aerial surveillance, the movement outside and inside the stadium is being monitored through 80 CCTV cameras.

The festivities are expected to continue till the end of the match late tonight.

The Twenty20 match has great significance for Pakistan as it gradually welcomes back international cricket, which ground to a halt after a deadly attack on Sri Lanka’s Test team in Lahore in 2009 which killed eight people and injured seven visiting players.

As well as the final in Karachi, both eliminators were held in Lahore this week – a step forward from last year, when only the final was held on Pakistani soil.

Pakistani women take selfie at the National Cricket Stadium during the Pakistan Super League final match between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United in Karachi on March 25, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Karachi– Pakistan’s economic hub, will also host three Twenty20 internationals between Pakistan and the West Indies in early April, the first home series involving a Test-level team since 2009.

Next year, the Pakistan Cricket Board has said it hopes to hold half of the PSL on home turf. Currently, most of the games are played in UAE.

Many Pakistani greats grew up playing cricket on the sweltering port city’s chaotic streets, often using an improvised form known as tapeball, using a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape.

The city’s most popular player, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, said the PSL final was “great news”, adding: “Karachiites will enjoy the occasion and I am glad over it.”

National Stadium Karachi: Venue of PSL 2018 Final

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif advised the foreign players not to miss out on trying traditional ‘Bundu Khan Ke Kebab’ while they are still in Karachi.

The third edition of the PSL was launched last month with the addition of a sixth team, the Multan Sultans, more international stars, and hopeful fans eager to forget a spot-fixing scandal which tainted last year’s event.

After the first 31 matches were played in Dubai and Sharjah, the PSL moved to Lahore on Tuesday, when Peshawar beat Quetta in the first eliminator and then ousted the Karachi Kings in the second.

The Lahore matches were played under heavy security, with police and paramilitary personnel guarding the teams from their hotel to the stadium and back.

Teams (from):

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)

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