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Why Imran Khan is on a hate list after Lahore hosted this popular cricket final

Imran Khan was not in favour of Lahore hosting the Pakistan Super League final. The former World Cup-winning captain was not sure about security arrangements for the grand finale.

cricket Updated: Mar 07, 2017 09:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Imran Khan,Pakistan Super League,Lahore
Imran Khan, Pakistan's former cricketer turned politician talks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad on February 15, 2017. Khan said : "I wanted the whole Pakistan Super League in Pakistan, not only just the final. But the problem is that when terrorism happens, it gets highlighted more, and foreigners get scared." (AP)

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)

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”.

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.”

Cricketers of Peshawar Zalmi their victory over Quetta Gladiators in the final cricket match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on Sunday. West Indians Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels were part of Peshawar squad. (AFP)

Even after the match, he did congratulate Peshawar Zalmi on lifting the title, but that did little to help his cause.

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.

Peshawar Zalmi captain Darran Sammi (C) celebrates with teammates his team's victory over Quetta Gladiators in the final cricket match of the Pakistan Super League at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on Sunday. (AFP)

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.

First Published: Mar 06, 2017 12:33 IST