PSL Final: A Glimpse of How It Feels to Be at Home
Lahore is all set to stage the biggest cricketing event in recent memory in Pakistan. A step that may well be a stepping stone for the revival of cricket in the country.
For the poverty ridden and terror struck people of Pakistan, Cricket is the only refuge. It is an escape from the bloody realities of terrorism and a home to bigger dreams and aspirations.
Cricket runs in the blood of every Pakistani and when they are not able to see their idols play on their home grounds – it hurts.
Since that unforgettable attack on the Sri Lankan team which claimed nine lives, none of the top international teams have visited Pakistan. Pakistani fans can only entertain themselves by watching their heroes on television screens.
Amidst all the gloom, Pakistan Super League seemed to be the only ray of hope. A league that aims to uplift the abysmal cricket structure in the country seemed to be the right passage of bringing Cricket back to the country.
The stage was set and the preparations had been made to organize the final of PSL II in Lahore. However, a spate of terror attacks across Pakistan, which claimed over 100 lives, threatened to put the PSL final in jeopardy.
Despite facing criticism from fans, media and former cricketers, Pakistan Cricket Board remained firm in hosting the PSL final in Lahore.
Meanwhile, the tournament went as per schedule and Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi qualified for the PSL Final.
However, all of Quetta’s foreign players refused to come to Pakistan due to security concerns. Moreover, the Sunset and Vine production company along with three foreign commentators refused to come to Lahore.
Quetta has since selected five foreign players in Anamul Haque, Rayad Emrit, Elton Chighumbura, Sean Ervine and Morne van Wyk. While Aizaz Cheema has replaced the injured Umer Gul.
On the other hand, all of Peshawar’s contingent of foreign players are playing the final match. Moreover, Dean Jones – the coach of Islamabad United – will be travelling to Lahore to commentate.
PSL coming back to where it belongs to is a logical end to this heated debate. That the final will bring international cricket back to Pakistan is debatable, however, it will surely show a glimpse of the refuge that Pakistanis have yearned for the last eight years; a glimpse of what it feels like to be at home.