Pakistan Super Leauge (PSL) management and its franchises have started the process of making a list of foreign players who are willing to travel to Lahore for the final match, which is scheduled on March 7.
On yesterday evening, the Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Shareef gave PSL management a go-ahead to host the finale of the tournament in Lahore, ending a week-long confusion that circulated due to the recent wave of terror across Pakistan that have claimed over 100 lives. But the question of who from the overseas contingents of the four teams is ready to travel the country is still unclear.
The speculations that said the PCB is hesitant to go ahead with its initially proposed plan, particularly due to the blast in Lahore’s posh area last week, have ended with the Punjab Government giving a green signal to the event.
“Everything will be clear once the playoff ends and the two finalists are decided,” Najam Sethi, the PSL chairman, said. “I can’t give you the names (of foreign players), but I am sure there will be foreign players for the March 5 final.
“It’s time the nation should show the world that we are a peace-loving nation, we are not going to be blackmailed by the terrorists. After the success of this event, international cricket will also return to Pakistan. We have to work hard for the next six days to make it a success.”
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The PSL management hopes to convince as many players as possible and is expected to once again brief the foreign players of the exhaustive security measures that are taken ahead of the final encounter. But the plan to replace foreign players who are unwilling to travel to Lahore is also in place: a list of 60 less-known overseas players will be shared with all the franchises’ owners to pick from as a replacement.
It is also learned from that authoritative sources that the foriegn players are offered payments, ranging from USD 10,000 to 50,000, should they agree to feature in the final match.
“I will be going back to Dubai now and once the finalists are confirmed I will again talk to the franchise owners and foreign players,” Sethi said. “We have also prepared a back up list of foreign players in case the overseas signings of the finalist teams refuse to come to Lahore.”
On Sunday (February 26), Karachi Kings became the fourth team — alongside Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, and Islamabad United — to qualify for the playoffs, which will begin from tonight (February 28) with a match between teams that finished top of the table.
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