Thursday, 9 December 2021

Najam Sethi hopes Lahore will still host PSL finale


DUBAI: Najam Sethi, the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL ) chairman, is adamant that the T20 spectacle’s finale should take place in Lahore. Sethi admitted that it would be difficult to convince foreign players to come and play the PSL final in Lahore on March 5 after Monday’s blast but was quick to add that the title clash can even take place without them. He stressed that it was now up to the people of Pakistan to decide. “What can I tell you?” Sethi said when asked what the reactions of foreign players were after news of the bombing. “Obviously people will be more wary and scared – they were already and now will be more. So right now to say whether we can convince them easily is very difficult… Now I will have to start all over again. I cannot say that we will be successful or not because they have families, they will have their associations which will guide them.” Though Sethi and the PCB have insisted all along that the final will go ahead in Lahore, with or without foreign players, the increasing probability that none may come now, would seem to have compelled a shift in that stance. On his show, Sethi asked the public to decide whether they want to see a final in Lahore most likely only with Pakistani players, or a final in Dubai with foreign players as well.

Sethi did expand on his personal belief, that the final should go ahead and be played in Lahore.”[People] were calling me up as well [and saying] that whatever the situation this is Pakistan’s resolve that the PSL final has to happen [in Lahore]. That we have to show terrorists that we are not scared and we have to show we can do it because it is very important for us. “I agree with this and this is my thought. I also think that these terrorists cannot think they can threaten us like this, that they can stop our businesses, stop our lives. No. We will stand firm, we will fight, we will do this. In that matter this is my resolve and I can see it is the resolve of every Pakistani, and their desire of having the final in Lahore. This is our stance. I think the Punjab government will be the same. “But the situation is this that the question Pakistanis have to answer is if the foreign players do not agree to come to Lahore, or a lot of them don’t, should we still have a final with just Pakistan players in Lahore, or should we have it with foreign players and do it in Dubai? This is the question the Pakistani public has to answer and whatever their wish we will see to it. “My heart says we have to show the world. If foreign players come to Lahore then good and if they don’t, then with our Pakistani players we should have a PSL final in Lahore. But I want public opinion on this, I want cricket-lovers to tell me, cricket fans — what do they want? Whatever they want, we will do.”

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