LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board has invited several former cricketing greats for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final, set to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium on Sunday.
However, when the media persons contacted former players Javed Miandad and Abdul Qadir, they said they have not received any invitation for the showpiece event. “It is not important for us whether they invite us or not but so far I have not received any invitation from the PCB,” said Miandad while talking to Dawn.
Qadir’s reply was the same and he said that although one of Gaddafi Stadium’s gates is named after him, he has not received any invitation for the PSL final.
A PCB official, when contacted to comment on the situation, confirmed that all the eligible cricketers would get their tickets and passes in the next couple of days.
“We received the invitation cards on Thursday morning and these are now being dispatched to all the invitees including cricketers and other VVIPs and they will get it by tomorrow or by Saturday,” the spokesman said.
Miandad, Qadir await invitations
The high government dignitaries including president, prime minister, four provincial chief ministers and governors, highly ranked bureaucrats are also invited for the final.
Meanwhile, the local administration, with the help of Pakistan Army, Rangers, Police is busy giving final touches to the elaborate security arrangements for the match which is indeed a challenge for the authorities.
Meanwhile, the spokesman said that all the match tickets put on sale either through online or through designated branches of the Bank of Punjab have been sold out. However, he was unable to disclose the total worth of the tickets sold.
As the rates of the tickets are quite high this time at Rs12,000, Rs8,000, Rs4,000 and Rs500, the total worth of the stadium having a seating capacity of around 25,000, comes to around Rs180 million.
In the past, Gaddafi Stadium, even when packed to capacity, has generated just around Rs10 million from a match.
Though the final has been declared as an extremely high profile and sensitive occasion and every possible safety measure has been taken to hold it in a peaceful manner, the sports journalists are still awaiting a comprehensive briefing from either the PCB or the security agencies to help them perform their duties professionally and without any hurdle.
Meanwhile, the security agencies also held a dress rehearsal of bringing the two teams to the stadium from their hotel. For this purpose three routes were tested. Moreover, a similar rehearsal was also held at the Lahore Airport, where the two teams will be landing, to bring them into their hotel.
The Punjab government has also decided to provide bus shuttle service to the ticket-holders and to off-load them in front of their respective enclosures after picking them from the car parking stand.
For this purpose, arrangements have been finalised with a big private bus service group. The same buses will also pick the ticket-holders from the stadium and drop them at the parking after the final. It is the first time that such a shuttle service will be provided to the ticket-holders.
Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2017