Big-time cricket returns to Karachi after 9 years

Tuesday, 27 Mar, 2018

The excitement in the air was palpable as the city's residents braced for an exciting finale of the third edition of the Pakistan Super League on Sunday, which was played in Karachi's National Stadium for the first time since the championship began.

Sammy has become a household name in Pakistan - especially the way he has carried Zalmi to the final after playing four successive matches with a leg injury.

General Asif Ghafoor said that the Pakistan Super League final has brought more shine to the 'city of lights.

Ronchi, 36, finished as the tournament's leading scorer, with 435 runs in 11 matches.

"It's obviously going to be an exciting occasion to be part of PSL final and more specifically being in Karachi".

It will be followed by three Twenty20 internationals against reigning World Twenty20 champions the West Indies on April 1, 2 and 3 - all in Karachi.

"The fans were missing such a festive environment and that can be seen on the roads of Karachi since past three days", Sallahuddin Sallu said while talking to The Express Tribune.

Spectators cheer during a game between Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Rahat Dar  EPA
Spectators cheer during a game between Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Rahat Dar EPA

The final of the second edition of the PSL was held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore previous year while Pakistan successfully hosted two elimination matches of the ongoing third edition of the tournament.

Giles Clarke, director of International Cricket Council (ICC), praised Pakistan's efforts. This is a very special team indeed. "But now the way people have come forward to support and make this event successful shows that something more than just a match is happening". And this port city, Karachi, a cricket hub has missed its share. We're going overseas to play, but along with this we are trying to find a window in August or September to play five to seven matches with the West Indies and Bangladesh in Houston and Florida.

Presidential-like security has been put in place on routes from the hotel to the stadium. According to him, it is Pakistan's custom to present a gift.

Another fan Rida Waqas was elated as she walked across the walkthrough gate.

"They've got a good depth of talent coming through, they should be happy with where they are at the moment". Lahore first hosted the PSL final a year ago, and there were Twenty20 global matches organized against a World XI (three matches) and Sri Lanka (one).

The fans are excited at the prospect of more cricket inside Pakistan.