Quetta Gladiators reached Lahore for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final on Saturday and trained at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for their Sunday match against Peshawar Zalmi.
"I have said goodbye to global cricket", he said Afridi after smashing a 28-ball 54 in a PSL match for Peshawar Zalmi in Sharjah. Indeed it is a mega event but more than that a very big test case for Pakistan Cricket Board, PSL organizers, federal and Punjab Government, army, police and all other security related agencies and more importantly for the entire nation particularly cricket enthusiasts.
The political opponent of Sharif brothers and leader of Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rasheed has already purchased his ticket worth Rs 500 to watch the match sitting in the crowd while his ally and PTI Chief Imran Khan wasn't that much interested in the idea of PSL final in Lahore as he called it "madness" and a security risk. He told that he is ready to welcome the foreign players and spectators at Gaddafi Stadium.
Pakistan has not hosted any of cricket's leading teams since a terrorist attack on Sri Lanka's team bus at Lahore in 2009. The Nishtar Park compound has been protected by huge metal gates, and spectators will be able to enter the Gaddafi Stadium only after three layers of security checks, some of which take place at a two-kilometre protective perimeter around the venue.
A makeshift hospital facility has also been built within the hockey stadium adjacent to the cricket stadium in case of emergency.
The English trio of Kevin Pieteren, Luke Wright and Tymal Mills, along with South African Rilee Rossouw, all opted out of playing in the final. Team's mentor Viv Richards and fielding coach Julien Fountain too are expected to arrive in the city early on Sunday morning. PCB has finally made it possible to bring the cricket to home.
Imran called it "madness" and warned that any incident could delay the return to Pakistan of global cricket for another 10 years.
PSL officials have suggested that while Akmal would be involved in the bidding process, the final call would remain with Zalmi. Afridi, who plays for Peshawar Zalmi, injured his right hand while attempting to take a catch of Kieron Pollard off the bowling of Hassan Ali, in the third qualifying final against Karachi Kings.