In what can be termed as a colossal blow to the hopes of reviving international cricket in Pakistan, several renowned overseas players have pulled out of the scheduled final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore. The Najam Sethi-headed body had made clear provisions for the final to be held in Lahore after the main tournament was held in UAE. However, after the first qualifying final took place between the Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi, several players have refused to tour Pakistan.
Personnel of the Gladiators were the first to openly state that they wouldn’t be touring Pakistan for the final. The English trio of Kevin Pietersen, Tymal Mills and Luke Wright stated that keeping in mind the present situation in Pakistan, they wouldn’t go to Lahore for the final. It is now understood that former Kiwi spinner Nathan McCullum and South African batsman Rilee Rossouw too have declined to play in Pakistan.
Wright was the first one to confirm his decision to skip the PSL final as he made a series of tweets over the matter.
“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.”
To ensure the teams get a fair chance, Sethi ensured in case a foreigner refuses to tour Lahore, there would be drafts made exclusively for the final. The fact that a series of bomb blasts hit various cities of Pakistan while the tournament was underway – and that massively damaged all hopes.
An overseas player in PSL was quoted saying that it isn’t worth to risk your life just for one game.
“What is the difference in me playing in Lahore under a security threat and a Pakistani player doing so?” he said. “In any attack both are at risk. And physios and masseuses? A life is a life, mine or a Pakistani player’s.”
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