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Quetta Gladiators' foreign players refuse to play final in Pakistan

By Web Desk
March 01, 2017

Sharjah: Foreign cricketers playing for the Quetta Gladiators have refused to play the final of the Pakistan Super League to be held in Lahore's Qaddahi Cricket Stadium, according to Geo News.

Kevin Pietersen, a key player of the Gladiators, has left UAE shortly after his team beat Peshawar Zalmi to qualify for the final. Luke Wright, Tymal Mills have also excused themselves from playing in Pakistan. The final is scheduled to be held on March 5.  Rilee Rossouw is considering whether or not to play the final in Lahore on March 5.

A foreign player was quoted as saying by ESPN cricinfo:-

"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."

Cricket authorities decided to hold the final of second edition of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore in an effort to restore international cricket in the country which was dealt a blow by militant attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009.

Pakistan has recently witnessed a surge in militant violence as deadly bombing in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa killed over 100 people and injured many others.

The decision to hold the final was taken at a meeting chaired by Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.  Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz said foolproof security would be ensured for the PSL. He directed the cabinet committee to make best arrangements and review security and other measures on daily basis. He said he would personally monitor the progress regularly.

Shahbaz said the decision was taken in best interest of the country and appealed to the nation to support the government efforts for the success of the final. He ordered the implementation of the designed security plan at every cost and said an effective monitoring system should be evolved for the purpose.

Shahbaz said no conspiracy of enemy would be allowed to succeed, adding that nefarious designs of terrorists and their facilitators would be foiled jointly. “We will come up to the expectations of the masses,” he hoped.