Hours after Quetta Gladiators secured a spot in the 2017 Pakistan Super League (PSL) final, foreign players Kevin Pietersen, Tymal Mills and Luke Wright confirmed they would not partake in the final via Twitter.
Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi by one run in a thrilling Qualifier 1 match to reach their second successive PSL final.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to host the final in Lahore, rather than the United Arab Emirates where the rest of the tournament took place, has not gone down well with international players in the tournament. Lahore was the site of terrorist attacks and bomb blasts in recent weeks.
Concerned with the security arrangements, Pietersen, Mills and Wright took to Twitter to announce that they would not be travelling to Lahore for the final.
Pietersen played an important part in Quetta’s campaign, including scoring 40 runs from 22 balls in against Peshawar to take his season tally to 241 runs.
He tweeted soon after the match that he was leaving Dubai to return home to London.
He tweeted again after reaching London on Wednesday.
The journey from Heathrow to my house to see my babies is the just the best! Long winter schedule done! Time to chill! Ciao x— KP (@KP24) March 1, 2017
Mills tweeted his gratitude to Quetta Gladiators and the league after the team reached the final but said with regret that he would be watching the match from home.
The T20 specialist — who was the second most expensive player at the 2017 Indian Premier League auction, being picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 12 crore — had taken seven wickets from five matches for Quetta.
England allrounder Wright only played one match in PSL 2017 but put up an emotional message explaining his decision to opt out of the final.
“It’s with a heavy heart I will not be coming to Lahore. I have a young family and for me a game of cricket is just not worth the risk. I’m sorry as I know how much it means to you all and hopefully in the future the safety will not be in doubt to come play there. Thanks once again to @TeamQuetta and @thePSLt20 for having me. Such lovely people. Great tournament with so much talent. See u soon, (sic)” Wright tweeted.
It's with a heavy heart I will not be coming to Lahore. I have a young family and for me a game of cricket is just not worth the risk 1/3— Luke Wright (@lukewright204) February 28, 2017
I'm sorry as I know how much it means to you all and hopefully in the future the safety will not be in doubt to come play there. 2/3— Luke Wright (@lukewright204) February 28, 2017
Nathan McCullum hasn’t featured for the team this season but confirmed previously that he wouldn’t partake in the final in Lahore.
He uploaded a video of the team celebrating progression to the final on his Twitter account.
South African batter Rilee Rossouw, the team’s leading run-getter with 255 runs, is yet to announce whether he will play the final scheduled for March 5 in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
Foreign internationals had been offered one-off payments ranging from USD 10,000 to USD 50,000 to play the final.