Lahore: Over 10,000 security personnel, including army men, will provide unprecedented protection for the final of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore, Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif announced on the eve of the match.
"More than 10,000 cops, rangers and army personnel will provide fool-proof security to tomorrow's (Sunday) PSL 2017 final at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore," Sharif said.
Unprecedented security arrangements have been put in place for the PSL final in Lahore. It is something that Pakistan has never witnessed before either in any Test or ODI matches even when the Indian cricket team toured here in 2004.
"The propaganda that some 60,000 security personnel will provide security to PSL final is wrong. No one (a reference of Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan) can be allowed to do politics on the cricket match," Shahbaz said, adding that the tomorrow's final is a national event and is being treated accordingly.
"We are ensuring that this event successfully takes place and give a message to the world that Pakistan is a peaceful country and people here are not cowed down by the terror acts," the chief minister said.
Quetta Gladiators led by Sarfraz Ahmed and Peshawar Zalmi under former West Indies skipper Darren Sammy will play Sunday's final.
All five of Peshawar Zalmi foreign players will play the final while three English players of the Quetta Gladiators — Kevin Pietersen, Tymal Mills and Luke Wright — have left for home because of security concerns.
The Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) had earlier advised players against travelling to Lahore.
For the first ever time, a five-layer security is being provided to the two domestic teams. The army personnel, rangers and police officials have completely cordoned-off the area and their vehicles are frequently patrolling the stadium.
A temporary 25-bed hospital has also been set up at the National Hockey Stadium, adjacent to Gaddafi Stadium, to meet any medical emergency.
The PCB's own bullet proof buses will be used for carrying the teams from their hotels to the stadium and back. Sniffer dogs, which were also used when India toured here in 2004, are visible in good numbers at the Gaddafi stadium.
The Punjab Constabulary, Dolphin Force, Police Response Unit, Elite Force and personnel from various police stations have been deployed to guard the stadium, all routes, nearby buildings and the roads.
Since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March 2009, international teams have largely chosen to stay away from touring Pakistan.