Published: Sun, March 25, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Big-time cricket returns to Karachi for first time in nine years

Big-time cricket returns to Karachi for first time in nine years

"Pakistan is full of cricket fans and it's a great thing that cricket is back in Pakistan, hopefully it will be a success", said 16-year-old cricket enthusiast Ria Martin.

Karachi, which has a population of 15 million, last hosted a major game featuring worldwide players in February 2009 - a test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Currently, most of the games are played in UAE.

Defending his decision to appoint Sarfraz Ahmed as captain of the Pakistan team, he said it was a good move and he also agrees with coach Mickey Arthur in bringing forward the young players. We don't need to get these players who don't want to come to Pakistan.

The closing ceremony on the 3 edition of PSL will start before the United-Zalmi final at 6:00pm.

Pakistan has pulled out all the stops for the PSL, to the extent of using helicopters to dry the rain-sodden Lahore pitch for Wednesday's semi-final.

On the same tour, terrorists attacked the Sri Lanka team convoy at Lahore that March.

The provincial administration in Karachi has put up in place stringent security arrangements for Sunday's final.

That resulted in an end to global cricket in the country, and the Pakistan Cricket Board was left with no choice but to choose the United Arab Emirates as its "home" turf to host worldwide teams.

Peshawar Zalmi skipper Darren Sammy and Islamabad United stand-in skipper JP Duminy.

The success of the Lahore events have long spurred calls for similar efforts in Karachi.

"It's obviously going to be an exciting occasion to be part of PSL final and more specifically being in Karachi".

The third edition of the PSL was launched last month with the addition of a sixth team, the Multan Sultans, more global stars, and hopeful fans eager to forget a spot-fixing scandal which tainted last year's event.

The Lahore matches were played under heavy security, with police and paramilitary personnel guarding the teams from their hotel to the stadium and back.

The preliminary PSL matches were played at Dubai and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates Australian Shane Watson (Quetta Gladiators) and Englishmen Eoin Morgan (Karachi) and Kevin Pietersen (Quetta) all refused to accompany their respective franchises to Lahore earlier this week for two PSL eliminators.

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