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West Indies cricketers Darren Sammy, right, Andre Fletcher, second left, and Pakistani cricketer Hassan Ali, center, dance during a music show prior to start of the Pakistan Super League final cricket match at National stadium, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, March 25, 2018. Thousands of spectators endured long queues and navigated stringent security checkpoints hours ahead of a high profile cricket match on Sunday in Pakistan's biggest city, the first time in nine years that it has hosted a game of such stature. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil) — Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Resilient Karachiites brave scorching heat, security checks to welcome PSL

At least 8,000 security personnel that also included armed soldiers guard the 27,000 capacity National Stadium.
Updated Mar 25, 2018 10:16pm

Thousands of spectators endured long queues and navigated stringent security checkpoints hours ahead of a high profile cricket match on Sunday in Karachi, the first time in nine years that it has hosted a game of such stature.

At least 8,000 security personnel that also included armed soldiers guarded the 27,000 capacity National Stadium where Peshawar Zalmi will take on Islamabad United in the third PSL final.

“It's (the PSL final) giving a message to the world that Pakistan is a peaceful country and Pakistan will play role in sports,” said 24-year-old spectator Hamza Yousuf Shah, who was waiting in one of several long queues to get into the stadium.

“Pakistan is full of cricket fans and it's a great thing that cricket is back in Pakistan, hopefully, it will be a success,” said 16-year-old cricket enthusiast Ria Martin.

Love of the game also brought 14-year-old Maaz Ahmed, who uses a wheelchair, to the ground.

Cricket fans stand in a long queue to enter the National stadium. —AP
Cricket fans stand in a long queue to enter the National stadium. —AP

Cricket fans display their tickets as they stand in a queue to enter the stadium. —AP
Cricket fans display their tickets as they stand in a queue to enter the stadium. —AP

A cricket fan displays a placard while standing in a long queue to enter the National stadium. —AP
A cricket fan displays a placard while standing in a long queue to enter the National stadium. —AP

Rangers personnel check cricket fans before entering the National Cricket Stadium. —AFP
Rangers personnel check cricket fans before entering the National Cricket Stadium. —AFP

Cricket fans wave the national flag during PSL final match between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United. —AFP
Cricket fans wave the national flag during PSL final match between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United. —AFP

Cricket fans arrive at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi. —AFP
Cricket fans arrive at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi. —AFP

Security officials frisk cricket fans outside the National stadium in Karachi. —AP
Security officials frisk cricket fans outside the National stadium in Karachi. —AP