International cricket is not played in Pakistan ever since that attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009. Pakistan Cricket Board is trying hard to bring international cricket back to the country and PSL 2 final is one such effort.
Playing Home Series Away from Home
Pakistan plays all its home series matches in UAE. Many Pakistani cricketers who joined the squad after the attack miss playing in front of the home crowd.
Only one team, Zimbabwe came to Pakistan in 2015. However, despite the security, there was a blast just outside the Gaddafi Stadium.
Many foreign players participating in the PSL 2 final, did not take part in the final due to the security risk.
What Made PSL 2 Final So Special?
It was a homecoming for cricket in Pakistan, more than just a final between two domestic teams featuring foreign players. The idea behind organizing the PSL 2 final in Lahore was to give a clear message to the world. A message of peace, love, and welcoming foreign players with open arms.
It is also considered a test case by the ICC. ICC gave security clearance just days before the event. And PCB had invited the ICC officials to watch the match live and have a look at the elaborate security arrangements made.
Pakistan aims to build on this PSL 2 final success. PCB is already rumored to be in talks with cricket boards of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to arrange for cricket tours in 2017.
Kamran Akmal Won Three Awards in the PSL 2 Final
Kamran Akmal performed magnificently in the second edition of Pakistan Super League. The wicketkeeper-cum-batsman received top three awards in the tournament. Akmal is out of the Pakistan cricket team for a long time. The performance in PSL builds a strong case for him to become part of the national squad.
Darren Sammy Declared Man of the Match
Darren Sammy, the captain of Peshawar Zalmi, won the man of the match award for his performance in the PSL 2 final. Here is what Darren Sammy had to say about his experience with the Peshawar Zalmi and to play in the Pakistan Super League.
“To me, it’s just more than a game. It first started in the draft. Lala made the big announcement that I would be the captain. This trophy means a lot. Lala influenced my decision to come here. I felt tonight I brought a lot of smiles in Lahore and Peshawar.”
“It is an amazing day. We thought with the new ball we did well. If we get 150-160, it would be a good total. We did get to 148, and our bowlers have been doing well this tournament. Peshawar is not just a cricket team; we do a lot for the fans, the foundation.”
“Thanks to the PCB, and the PSL. I am glad I came to experience the atmosphere here. Even though Peshawar came out on top, cricket was the real winner in Lahore.”
Lala’s Presence Sorely Missed from the Final
Shahid Afridi, one of the leading players in the Peshawar Zalmi team, could not participate in the final. Afridi damaged his finger while trying to catch a fast coming ball hit by Keiron Pollard, during the third play-off against Karachi Kings. However, La La fans came in big number to support his team Peshawar Zalmi.
Sarfraz on Quetta Gladiator’s Defeat at the Final
Sarfraz Ahmed, the captain of the runner-up team in the final, congratulated Peshawar Zalmi on the win. Here is what he had to say about his team’s performance.
“It was a chase-able score. We’ve chased 200, and we’ve also defended 200. The turning point was our fall of five early wickets. I think Peshawar Zalmi are worthy of being congratulated for their outstanding performance. I especially congratulate the crowd for their support.”
PSL 2 Final Promoted the Brand of Pakistan
There are several positives which we as Pakistanis can draw from this incredible PSL 2 final organized in Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
- Pakistan is capable of organizing international sports events by providing fool-proof security.
- The people of Pakistan welcome foreigners and love to see their sports heroes play on the home ground.
- Pakistan is a peace loving country and does not endorse terrorism or violence in any form or manifestation.
- The return of international cricket is possible in Pakistan. The elaborate security arrangements made by Pakistan speak volumes about the country’s seriousness in conducting international sporting events.
- Lastly, the people of Pakistan are very brave. Scores of people turned out to see the match in a jam-packed stadium, despite the recent terrorist attacks in February 2017, claiming lives of around 130 people.