Pakistan Super League 2018: Karachi gears up to host final, hopeful to end nine-year wait for international cricket

The third season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) starts in the United Arab Emirates on February 22. The tournament will move to Pakistan for two play-offs on March 20-21 and the final in Karachi on March 25.

AFP, February 11, 2018

Foreign experts on Sunday inspected security arrangements in Karachi, which is scheduled to stage the final of Pakistan's Twenty20 league next month — the city's first international match in nine years.

The third season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) starts in the United Arab Emirates on February 22. The tournament will move to Pakistan for two play-offs on March 20-21 and the final in Karachi on March 25.

Players of Peshawar Zalmi celebrate their victory over Quetta Gladiators in the PSL 2017 final. Reuters

Players of Peshawar Zalmi celebrate their victory over Quetta Gladiators in the PSL 2017 final. Reuters

Security experts Reg Dickason and Richard Dennis witnessed a full dress rehearsal for the final in Karachi. They were also briefed by Pakistani security and government officials on the arrangements.

"Whatever we have witnessed today, it's as good as I have seen in all my years of work but I can't say a final word (on hosting the final) now and will submit my report within the next seven days," Dickason said.

The team's report will be integral to paving the way for the final.

International cricket in Pakistan was suspended after a 2009 militant attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore killed eight people and injured seven visiting players.

Pakistan's national team has since played nearly all its home matches in the UAE. The country has been battling Islamist militants for over a decade, and insurgents have carried out several high-profile attacks across the country.

Authorities have been trying to gradually return international cricket to Pakistan.

The final of the PSL last year was played in Lahore. Some foreign players made the trip, but many stayed away because of concerns about security.

That was followed by three T20s against a World XI in September, and one T20 against Sri Lanka in October — all in Lahore.

Pakistan made unprecedented security arrangements for these matches, with 20,000 military and police officials guarding the visiting players and the stadium.

Karachi, the country's largest city, last hosted an international match in February 2009 — a Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka — a week before the Lahore attack.

All six PSL teams have foreign players in their squads for the third season. Each team can field a maximum of four foreign players per match.

Updated Date: Feb 11, 2018

T20 LEAGUE POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Hyderabad
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Kolkata
14 8 6 0 16
4
Rajasthan
14 7 7 0 14
5
Mumbai
14 6 8 0 12
6
Bangalore
14 6 8 0 12
7
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
8
Delhi
14 5 9 0 10




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3499 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3511 98
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5257 125
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Australia 3327 104
6 Pakistan 3279 102
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 2990 130
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114