Doors for cricket in Pakistan open

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PSL – an event of joy and happiness for ‘upset’ Pakistanis

Nation special report
KARACHI: Sunday was the day of jubilance for Pakistanis who are upset and depressed due to uncertain political and economic situation when the final of Pakistan Super League (PSL) was played in Karachi, the major industrial and commercial hub of the country.

KARACHI: Owner of Islamabad United Ali Naqvi, team skipper J.P Duminy, Misbah-ul-Haq and other team players pose for a group photo with the winner’s trophy

Islamabad United defeat Peshawar Zalmi and reclaimed PSL title. The PCB must be applauded, in particular its chairman Najam Sethi, who has promised many more games spread over many more venues in Pakistan next year, and who moved with determination to achieve the goal of reviving international cricket in the country.

KARACHI: Islamabad United skipper JP Duminy tosses the coin to start the final of PSL 3 at National Stadium. Peshawar Zalmi captain Darren Sammy and former Pakistani captain and famous commentator Ramiz Raja is also present.

Najam Sethi on Friday said the cricketing body had gotten the go-ahead to hold half of all matches in the next Pakistan Super League (PSL) series in Karachi and Lahore.
Speaking to reporters at Karachi’s National Stadium, Sethi said: “In the fourth PSL series, we want double-weekend matches,” explaining that on Thursday and Friday, matches would be held in the United Arab Emirates, whereas teams would play in Pakistan on Saturday and Sunday.

KARACHI: West Indies cricketers Darren Sammy, right, Andre Fletcher, second left, and Pakistani cricketer Hassan Ali, center, dance during a music show prior to start of the Pakistan Super League final cricket match at National stadium.

He said it was not possible for Pakistan to host any more foreign teams this year after the March 25 PSL final in Karachi as all the national team’s scheduled matches and series would be held abroad.
After the PSL final, we have the West Indies series. After that, we have no more space. We’re going abroad to play, but along with this we are trying to find a window in August or September to play five to seven matches with the West Indies and Bangladesh in Houston and Florida. But that hasn’t been finalised as yet,” he added.

KARACHI: Pakistani cricket fans wave national flag at the National Cricket Stadium during the Pakistan Super League final match between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United in Karachi on March 25, 2018.

“We are exploring [our options] but we don’t have space for a foreign team to visit. There are some teams that are ready [to play in Pakistan]. I won’t name them, but they have said they are ready so we will plan for next year. We want a top-level team, and not just three to four matches but a whole series.”

KARACHI: Pop singer Shehzad Roy performs during the inaugural ceremony of PSL 2018 final in National Stadium.

The time is not right as yet, he said, explaining that stadiums must be prepared beforehand and nationwide security has to be top class before it can happen. He said that stadiums will also be built in Islamabad and Peshawar.
“We are hopeful there will be more PSL in Pakistan,” he added.
Sethi said he was looking forward to the final. “One of the teams [Islamabad United] won the first championship, the other [Peshawar Zalmi], the second championship. Let’s see who wins the third round,” he said. “Whoever wins, it will ultimately be a win for Pakistan.”