PESHAWAR: Peshawar Zalmi franchise administration arranged special buses to bring hundreds of enthusiastic Zalmi fans to Rawalpindi on Friday to watch their team in a showdown with Lahore Qalandars.
Lacking a home ground in Peshawar, Zalmi owner Javed Afridi provided for the home crowd the service to be part of the live action for every match the team plays at Rawalpindi stadium.
“It is a special incentive by Zalmi chairman Afridi to facilitate cricket fans. We have dedicated five buses with the capacity of 160 passengers each,” said Iftikharuddin Khattak, brand manager of Peshawar Zalmi. “We’re excited and hope to win the trophy,” he added.
However, he said that the fans have to pay Rs.2000 and would get return bus ticket to Peshawar with McDonald’s meal, a VIP match ticket and official Zalmi shirts. The fans will also get a chance to meet their favorite players while in Rawalpindi.
“It was my biggest wish to watch Peshawar Zalmi play live in the PSL match. I couldn’t travel all the way to Rawalpindi because I cannot afford it,” Khalid Anwar, a junior clerk at KP Health Department and an ardent Zalmi fan about to board the bus, told Arab News.
Abdul Wakil, a daily wage laborer and supporter of Zalmi team, said he was skipping work on Friday because he planned to travel to Rawalpindi to enjoy the rare sight of his favorite team playing live.
Zalmi fans also enjoyed the team’s official instrumental anthem played in the buses by none other than leading bands Pukhtoon Core and Khumariyan.
#CricketInSpotlight: Zalmi fans from KP sing and celebrate the privilege to watch Friday’s match free at the #Rawalpindi cricket stadium between @PeshawarZalmi & @lahoreqalandars pic.twitter.com/1tcMrEhLnG
— Arab News Pakistan (@arabnewspk) February 28, 2020
Police in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have placed strict security measures to ensure PSL matches are conducted in a peaceful environment.
Security personnel have been deployed at the hotel accommodating players with a separate police unit dedicated to escort the teams to the stadium.