Quetta Gladiators, Peshawar Zalmi boosted by foreign stars for PSL 2017 final
Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi will be boosted by the presence of a number of foreign players when they face each other in the PSL 2017 final.cricket Updated: Mar 05, 2017 17:10 IST
Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi will have a host of foreign players available for Sunday’s Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2017 final in violence-hit Lahore despite security fears having already scared off a host of international stars.
Quetta Gladiators 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.
But on Saturday, Quetta announced they had signed West Indian paceman Rayad Emrit, Bangladesh’s Anamul Haque, 37-year-old South African Morne van wyk and Zimbabwe’s Elton Chigumbura and Sean Ervine as replacements.
“We have replacements for the final as well as former Pakistan paceman Aizaz Cheema (signed to cover for the injured Umar Gul),” said a team spokesman.
The 35-year-old Emrit has played just two one-day internationals for the West Indies while Haque has played four Tests and 30 one-day internationals for Bangladesh.
Chigumbura and Ervine are regulars for Zimbabwe while van Wyk has played eight international T20s for South Africa making a best score of 114 not out.
Peshawar Zalmi announced four foreign players -- skipper Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels of the West Indies as well as England’s Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan will arrive in Lahore early Sunday morning.
PSL chairman Najam Sethi last week told AFP that all foreign players were offered extra money to appear in the final.
“We have offered foreign players up to double the pro-rata per match for the final,” Sethi said.
The participation of the tournament’s international stars had been in doubt after security fears increased following two deadly bomb blasts in Lahore last month which left 23 people dead and over 100 injured.
The Pakistan army and prime minister Nawaz Sharif have assured VIP-level security arrangements -- normally reserved for state heads -- for the teams.
It will be 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.
A capacity crowd of 25,000 is expected for Sunday’s final which starts at 20:00 local time (1500GMT).
As well as foreign players, the final will boast West Indian great Viv Richards who is a mentor for the Quetta team.
Former Australian batsman Dean Jones, who was the head coach of Islamabad United in the tournament, is in Lahore as TV commentator.