LAHORE: Hundreds of dejected cricket fans here in Lahore have expressed utter disappointment over shifting of the three Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches to Karachi due to logistic issues and have blamed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the abrupt decision made on Sunday.
The PCB, while announcing the shifting of matches, also announced that all the ticket holders of Lahore’s matches will be refunded on March 18.
Lahore, the regular venue of some of the PSL matches since its second edition, was allocated three matches which were to be held on March 9, 10 and 12. But the PCB sprang a surprise on everyone on Sunday evening by announxcing that all matches have been shifted to Karachi due to logistic problems.
“What logistic problems? There is no genuine reason behind shifting of the matches as just on last Thursday, the PCB held a meeting with all the six franchises owners in Dubai and all showed the consent for holding all eight matches in Pakistan — three in Lahore and five in Karachi,” said Zain Alam, a cricket fanatic who had bought five tickets of Rs 500 each for the matches.
All tickets for Lahore matches to be refunded on March 18
It is felt by the critics that had the PCB adopted a policy of holding the matches for PSL’s Pakistan leg in sequence — similar to what has been done at the three centers of the UAE — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — the board would have easily overcome the logistic problems. “The PCB could share eight matches equally between the two cities by holding first four in the coastal city and then last four in Lahore including the final to give entertainment to fans of both the largest cities of the country,” said a knowledgeable critics of the game.
Talking to Dawn, Zain added: “I spent almost three hours in a que in front of a courier office to purchase the tickets, but this announcement of the PCB has really dis appointed me and my friends as we have lost a great opportunity to witness exciting games” he lamented.
Another ticket holder Muhammmad Aamir also expressed similar feelings and added that it was quite possible to sort out the logistics problems, if any, as there were many resources to deal with such problems in the modern times.
Aamir said Lahore had successfully hosted several international matches in the last one year but now with one-stroke, all the matches have been shifted to Karachi which has caused great disappointment among the Lahorites.
It may be mentioned that the Punjab government, in a press release published in Sunday’s newspapers, had claimed that foolproof security will be in place for the Lahore matches and the fans will have a great time.
Meanwhile, in another press release issued by PCB on Monday: “The Pakistan Cricket Board has reassured all ticket-holders of the Lahore-leg matches in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 that they will get refunds on the face value of the tickets.
“Refund of tickets: As is the case for all online sales, fans who purchased tickets through www.yayvo.com will have their transactions reversed on to their credit / debit cards in the next few days without needing to go to the TCS centres.
“All tickets purchased physically, will be refunded post March 18 through dedicated TCS centres across the country. The PCB will share more details of the specific TCS centres in due course.
“Purchase of tickets: Tickets for March 7 match will be valid for the March 11 double-header in Karachi. With approximately 85 per cent of tickets already sold, the remaining 15 per cent tickets are still up for grabs which can be purchased at the original price of the March 7 match.
“Tickets for March 9 and 14 matches will be made available shortly for purchase. Further details will be provided in due course. Tickets for matches in Karachi, as per previous schedule for which dates have not changed, will continue to be valid,” it concluded.
Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2019