The PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) has confirmed that the PSL (Pakistan Super League) 2017 final will be held in Lahore on March 7 and the country’s chief cricketing body is drawing up contingency plans to replace overseas players who are not willing to travel to Pakistan due to security concerns.
The board has decided to contest a new draft in the last week of February to bring in foreign players who will be willing to travel to Pakistan in place of those who opt out.
The move was made after several foreign players were uncertain about touring Pakistan for the final; the rest of the tournament will be played in Dubai and Sharjah beginning on February 9.
“In the recent governing board meeting it was decided that the final of PSL will be held in Lahore. PCB will try to convince players to travel to Pakistan but in the worst case scenario we will have a new draft for the players who are ready to tour Pakistan.”
In case of not even a single foreign player agreeing to play in Pakistan, the final will be contested in Lahore with local players replacing the overseas ones.
“Once the teams for the finals are decided and their icon or foreign players refuse to travel to Lahore, we will make a new draft with a pool from the existing 30-35 players of PSL. We will probably need about five to ten players for Lahore, and those players who would be available from the discarded three teams can then get picked through this draft for the final.”
Away from the PSL final, the PCB has also invited West Indies to tour Pakistan for two T20s in Lahore before heading out to play another two T20s at Lauderhill in Florida. The tour is subject to security clearances and agreement from the West Indies Players’ Association.
According to ESPNcricinfo, ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) president Giles Clarke, who headed up the ICC’s original Pakistan Task Force, will visit the country later this month along with officials from West Indies to carry out a series checks of the venues as a part of their judgement before making anything about the tour. However, the ICC said they were not involved in Clarke’s visit.