Cricket-frenzied Karachi set to watch top cricketers in PSL T20 finals

Pakistan's National Stadium is decorated with cutouts of cricket players in Karachi, Pakistan, on March 6, 2019. (AP)
Updated 09 March 2019
0

Cricket-frenzied Karachi set to watch top cricketers in PSL T20 finals

  • Shane Watson of Australia, Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy of the West Indies will be the star attractions
  • Sammy has been an unofficial ambassador of PSL around the world since 2016

Pakistan's biggest city is set to witness some of the biggest stars in international cricket over the next nine days as the last leg of Pakistan Super League begins on Saturday.
Shane Watson of Australia, Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy of the West Indies will be the star attractions in the Twenty20 format for cricket-frenzied fans in Karachi.
Watson will be playing in Pakistan 14 years after being a member of the Australia A team in 2005, while Pollard will be playing in Pakistan for the first time.
Sammy has been an unofficial ambassador of the PSL around the world since the league began in 2016. Sammy, who leads Peshawar Zalmi, won the second edition of the PSL at Lahore in 2017 as the PCB gradually started organizing more and more league games at home.
"It's been 14 years since I last visited Pakistan, a place with some of the most passionate fans in world cricket. Can't wait to give it our best shot in winning the trophy," Watson said in a video message tweeted by his team Quetta Gladiators.
Lahore, which organized the PSL final two years ago, was ruled out to host three of the remaining eight PSL matches after the recent political tensions between Pakistan and India forced a delay in opening of the international air space in Lahore.
This led the Pakistan Cricket Board to contemplate rescheduling the remaining eight games in Pakistan after organizing 26 PSL league matches in the United Arab Emirates.
But then Karachi, which also hosted the last year's PSL final, was chosen as the PCB was adamant to show the cricketing world that it's safe to again host international teams in Pakistan.
"The perception that foreigners have about the safety situation in Pakistan will change and they will be satisfied with the security arrangements," PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said in Karachi.
"I am delighted to welcome the foreign players who have come here for the PSL and I am sure it will help us in bringing more international matches to the country."
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Mani had said that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were the two teams which could tour Pakistan later this year if the PCB successfully organizes PSL games in Pakistan.
It's been 10 years since Pakistan hosted a fully-fledged bilateral cricketing series when terrorists attacked on Sri Lanka cricket team bus at Lahore in 2009.
Several key cricketing delegates from around the world that include top officials from the ICC, Federation of International Cricketers Association and Bangladesh Cricket Board will also oversee security arrangements during the matches in Karachi.
Tight security will be provided for the six franchise teams, including more than 13,000 policemen and 2,500 armed paramilitary personnel in place en route from hotel to the stadium and in the surroundings of the National Stadium.
Hundreds of CCTV cameras have been installed in and around the National Stadium to monitor the movement of spectators. Spectators have to show their original National Identity Cards along with their tickets at the entry points.
Defending champions Islamabad United will take on Lahore Qalandars at 7 p.m. local time (1400 GMT).
The main roads of the metropolis city have been decorated with lights and cardboard cut-outs of players on the roadside. There are also giant billboards showing several foreign players representing the six teams — Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators and Multan Sultans.


15-member Pakistan cricket squad announced for World Cup 2019

Updated 18 April 2019
0

15-member Pakistan cricket squad announced for World Cup 2019

  • The team includes three openers, four middle-order batsmen, two spinners, five fast bowlers and a wicketkeeper/batsman
  • Squad can be changed until 23rd May without informing the ICC

LAHORE: Pakistan on Thursday announced its 15-member cricket squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup that will be held in England at the end of the next month.
“We have selected the best available cricketers to play the very important tournament. While picking the team, we evaluated our strengths, analyzed our opponents, considered match venues, and kept the event format in our mind,” chief selector, Inzamamul Haq, told reporters here on Thursday afternoon.
Haq said that 11 players in the new cricket team had also played and won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England under Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy. He added that the squad included three openers, four middle-order batsmen, two spinners, five fast bowlers and a wicketkeeper/batsman.
Despite his injury, Imad Waseem has been included in the team while Muhammad Hafeez has also been take on board, though his final selection would be subject to his fitness.
“Hafeez and Shoaib are experienced players,” Haq said, “while Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Hasnain constitute the most lethal bowling unit. They have tremendous variation and variety, making it easy for them to take wickets and keep our rivals under pressure.”
The chief selector told the media that Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali would play the series against England but not participate in the world cup matches.
The ICC regulations required all participating teams to name their 15-player World Cup squad by 30th April, though changes can be made until 23rd May without seeking the ICC approval. Post-May 23, all replacements will have to be approved by the Event Technical Committee.
The Pakistan Team will play a series of five One Day International matches against the host country, England, besides playing a few warm-up matches with different county cricket teams before the start of the world fixture.
As per schedule, the team will leave for England on 23rd April for an 83-day tour. Pakistan will play its first world cup match against the West Indies on 31st May at Trent Bridge while the most interesting and crucial match of the tournament will be played on 16th June at the Old Trafford between Pakistan and India. The schedule of the team’s other World Cup matches is mentioned below:
June 03 – v England, Trent Bridge; June 07 – v Sri Lanka, Bristol; June 12 – v Australia, Taunton; June 16 – v India, Old Trafford; June 23 – v South Africa, Lords; June 26 – v New Zealand, Edgbaston; June 29 – v Afghanistan, Headingley; July 05 – v Bangladesh, Lords (d/n).
Pakistan squad includes:
Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain.