I was exasperated. Literally! The distance that I usually covered in hardly 20 minutes took me more than three hours! The roads were so badly jammed that even motor bikers were unable to move! The noise of horns, bikes and car engines was making it even worse for drivers’ nerves. Even the traffic police seemed helpless! You all have probably guessed the reason for this madness - the much anticipated Pakistan Super League or the PSL semi finals that were held in Lahore on 20 and 21 March, 2018.
Finally, after three and a half hours’ hassle, I reached home in a foul mood, mentally abusing PCB and the management of the big event. As I stepped into my TV lounge, I saw that Peshawar Zalmi was on fire. Kamran Akmal was smashing fours and sixes like politicians bashing their opponents. Gradually, all the frustration started disappearing. Wearing their favourite team’s t-shirts, my nephews and other family members were relishing the eliminating round of the PSL. In no time, I also joined in the fun; as like all other Pakistanis, I am also a diehard cricket fan. The innings concluded and an animated discussion on the prospects of the semi finalists, and the upcoming matches of PSL ensued. No doubt, apart from discussions about prevailing political scenarios in the country and other frustrating news that are the defining trait of news channels these days; discussion of PSL was really a pleasant change. We had something light and interesting to talk about.
The day after the match, I got to see mix responses at work regarding the inconvenience people had to go through due to the PSL. Some lambasted the improper provision of alternate routes for traffic while others asserted that the joy of watching a cricket match live in the stadium was worth the hassle. On the social media, situation was not much different either. A friend’s uncle who has asthma was furious because owing to blocked roads, he couldn’t visit his doctor. Another colleague who is a nutritionist missed her live appearance in a TV show due to the same problem was upbeat. According to her, the joy of having matches on home ground was so great that she didn’t mind missing a live appearance. People had also questioned the rationale behind holding the PSL in Pakistan under such strict security.
As an accountant, my perspective is different; I feel everything on this globe carries an “opportunity cost” that we must bear in order to avail it. We are a victim of terrorism and undesired tags internationally. By holding an event like the PSL, a strong message has been sent to the world about the improved security situation in Pakistan. And, in order to bring international sports back to the country, we should not grudge the problems caused by the PSL matches; instead, we should grin and bear it.