The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB’s )decision to host the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore has come under criticism from former greats including Imran Khan who have warned off the serious security threats surrounding the match at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Soon after Imran Khan termed the decision of the PCB and government to hold the final in Lahore as “madness”, other former captains joined in the criticism including Javed Miandad and Aamir Sohail.
“I want to just ask who will take responsibility if something goes wrong on that day,” an animated Miandad questioned.
“I don’t understand why take this chance when we all know that international teams will not return to Pakistan this way,” the former great said.
The government announced late Monday night that all roads leading to the Gaddafi Stadium will be closed for public until March 6 while all shops and restaurants outside the stadium have been told to close down their businesses until the final is completed.
Imran, in an interview with Samaa TV channel, noted that what sort of message would be sent out to the world by holding the final in suffocating security arrangements.
“Even if the final is held successfully I don’t think it is going to change things by way of teams agreeing to come to Pakistan again,” he said.
Miandad said that he was worried after the announcement because there would be no big benefits for Pakistan cricket from holding the final.
Sohail said the PSL final was not a World Cup final so he didn’t know why the PCB and others were dying to have it in Lahore.
“Holding the final now is going to be a big challenge for the PCB and government,” he added.
“The way I see it all this is happening because of a stubborn child,” he said in an apparent reference to the PSL Chairman Najam Sethi.
Former Test opener Shoaib Muhammad said he was not in favour of having the final at this time because despite taking such a big risk it would serve no purpose in the end.
“Can the PCB guarantee us that if we have a smooth PSL final we will be seeing Australia, South Africa or England coming to Pakistan to play in the next few months,” he asked.
Punjab’s Law Minister, Rana Sanaullah, has said that around 10,000 personnel will be deployed for the security for the final and the security plan would be put into place from Tuesday.