Conclusion o f PSL extravaganza

Peshawar Zalmi defeated Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs in the final to win the second edition of the Pakistan Super League at the picturesque Gaddafi Stadium. Many never had the experience of covering a game of cricket from inside a strongly guarded fortress – the Gaddafi Stadium – which was turned into for staging the PSL final as a showpiece event to emphasise to the world that Pakistan was now ready to host international teams once again. Desperate fans filled the ground to have an evening of fun after having gone through the pain and torture of securing an entry ticket in return of huge sums of money for the sake of watching a final of a tournament which itself was not held in Pakistan because of security reasons. Quetta and Peshawar had a host of foreign players available for the final despite security fears having already scared off a host of international stars. Quetta had already seen English trio Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright and Tymal Mills as well as South Africa’s Rilee Rossouw and Nathan McCullum of New Zealand refuse to play in Pakistan.The Pakistan Army and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had assured VIP-level security arrangements – normally reserved for state heads – for the teams. It was the highest-level game in Pakistan since a 2009 assault on the Sri Lanka team bus outside Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium killed six people and wounded several players. Pakistan is one of the major cricket playing countries of the world and it indeed is no less than a tragedy that for more than seven years now, we have been unable to stage international cricket for reasons beyond our control. Inadequate efforts to bring sanity in the day to day working of the country have seen the governance systems faltering badly, primarily due to corruption and mismanagement at all levels, cricket inclusive.There had been much debate and criticism about hosting the PSL final in Pakistan and some of that made sense but one cannot deny the fact that the tournament had brought immense happiness to the mundane lives of many. The criticism was not because the critics were against international cricket to return to Pakistan but because the danger and the threat that was involved in taking such a risk. For a moment, all the political rivalries and enmities seemed to have been forgotten, and it was all about Pakistan. The entertainment deprived people of Pakistan, for whom even small occasions of happiness have become more than that.Overall, one game with a security only accorded to the highest dignitaries will not solve countries problems. The division may be by socio-economic background, language, sect, education, religion, politics or mere opinion but there is no denying the fact that nothing united this nation more than cricket. People from across the country have been thronging to Lahore to enjoy an auspicious moment in Pakistan’s cricketing history. This time the patriotism is a uniting message for the people of Pakistan and an outright rejection of the fear that the enemies of Pakistan wanted to create among the citizens. The government, PCB and security institutions deserve appreciation for successful and peaceful arrangement of the event.

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