Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan was criticized across social media on Monday after the legendary fast bowler allegedly decided to give the Pakistan Super League final a miss citing security concerns. (INDIA vs AUSTRALIA LIVE)
No one wants int cricket to return to Pak more than me. But staging the PSL final in Lahore carries huge risks with no benefit at all.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 28, 2017
Opposing the move to host the final in Lahore after two blasts in February had popped up security concerns once again, Khan was quoted by the Express Tribune a few days back as saying: “If something inimical happened on the final day then it will prove to be the end of international cricket in Pakistan”.
And God forbid if any mishap happens we can say goodbye to int cricket in Pak for the next decade https://t.co/5WkOJi0aWa— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 28, 2017
A number of former cricketers, including Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, were present at the Gaddafi stadium as two new stands were unveiled under their name, but on a historic night for the nation, their World Cup winning captain’s absence was not taken in good spirit.
Imran Khan had stated on his Twitter account: “Good luck & best wishes to both cricket teams in the PSL final. Really appreciate the public’s participation. May Allah keep everyone safe.”
Even after the match, he did congratulate Peshawar Zalmi on lifting the title, but that did little to help his cause.
I have now arrived in Lahore for @thePSLt20 Final. The— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) March 4, 2017
Airport & Police security were fantastic ! Looking forward to having a good time!
Pakistan Army, Police, Punjab Govt. & enthusiastic public, everyone showed that we are united and brave, except Phupho Imran Khan. #PSLFinal— AlfaPedia (@AlfaPedia) March 5, 2017
While a few put up screenshots of Michael Kugelman’s tweet where he stated that he hoped he sent a powerful message by hosting the final, others lambasted Imran Khan for being away from the ground while everyone else wanted to rebuild the image of the game.
A number of foreign players, including Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen, had opted out of playing the final in Lahore after taking part in the rest of the competition in the United Arab Emirates.
Batting first, Peshawar Zalmi had put up 148 for the loss of six wickets with Kamran Akmal top-scoring with 40 while captain Darren Sammy was unbeaten on 28. In reply, Quetta Gladiators were bundled out for just 90 runs.