Home Global Village The emotional impact of Karachi hosting PSL final & its significance

The emotional impact of Karachi hosting PSL final & its significance

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News Analysis |

Cricket returned to Karachi in all its glory. March 25 has been a historic day for Pakistan cricket. A glorious day, when Pakistan won the ultimate price in cricket – its only world cup. Karachi was in a festive mood and preparations for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) were epic. Roads were decorated with lights, card hoardings of players and team flags. Cricket frenzy Karchiites looked happy and cheerful.

Karachi witnessed the spectacle after waiting for nine years to see international cricket back into the city of lights. It was not an ordinary day by any means. A city savaged with terrorist activities, and bloodshed was in full swing to mark the occasion with joy and excitement.

Joyful Spectators full of emotions waited patiently to enter the stadium. They had to queue for hours in the scorching heat of Karachi which at one point hit 39 degrees. The authorities had to extend the planned time of 5 o’clock by further 2-hours having seen slow movement of people into the stadium through different entry points.

PSL is a refresher in a pessimistic environment but publicizing it to claim that terrorism is defeated is apparently a far cry. Reviving Karachi & to attain its glory of the past will take more than a cricket match. Nevertheless, it’s a step in a right direction.

People had to go through four checkpoints, including a walkthrough and physical scanners. The walkthrough gates were installed at different locations, one before, using the shuttle service, and the second after it. The third scanner was installed at the entrance gate of the stadium and last one at the enclosure entrance. Some people even had to wait for seven hours to reach the venue.

Nevertheless, the ground was packed well within time before start of the much-awaited final between the Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi. Private channels presented a number of special programs and discussed the final with experts and celebrities to set the tone for the game. The entire country was buzzing with excitement along with Karachi.

Read more: PSL Final: Lahore or Dubai? A Decision hanging on regional dynamics?

The big plasma screens were installed throughout the city at main public places to watch the live action amid tight security arrangements. 32,000 excited spectators watched the match in presence of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, DG ISPR spokesperson Major General Ghafoor and a huge number of celebrities.

After last years final in Lahore, 2018 final was promised in Karachi. Law enforcement agencies must be praised for their foolproof arrangements. It is certainly a beginning for the city to head back to its heydays. But the road ahead is bumpy and hard. The game was held in presence of thousands of security personnel amid extraordinary security arrangements.

Karachi witnessed the spectacle after waiting for nine years to see international cricket back into the city of lights. It was not an ordinary day by any means. A city savaged with terrorist activities, and bloodshed was in full swing to mark the occasion with joy and excitement.

After Lahore, Karachi was the second major city to host the international cricket after series of matches in Qaddafi stadium Lahore since the tour of Zimbabwe in 2015. International cricket is expected to make a slow return to Pakistan. The final is a tender step towards the revival of international cricket in the country which has been suspended since the unfortunate 2009 attack on Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.

Read more: Imran Khan now calls for fans to get free tickets to…

This historic match certainly elevated the spirit of the Karachiites and overall mood of the city of lights. But it was only made possible after state-level security arrangements. The routes leading to the stadium looked more like an under siege or curfew. All the roads leading to the stadium were strictly monitored with CCTV cameras and all the connecting routes were virtually closed using barricades.  The traffic was diverted to alternate routes. Rangers and Police looked visibly vigilant and were on high alert.

This historic event can have profound impacts on the psychologically derided residents of the city having seen so much chaos and turmoil in recent years. Everyone in the city looked forward to the game and scenes of sheer joy were witnessed on TV screens throughout the country.

Private channels presented a number of special programs and discussed the final with experts and celebrities to set the tone for the game. The entire country was buzzing with excitement along with Karachi.

No doubt, our law enforcement agencies have extensive experience in providing VVIP security to politicians, which makes it easier for them to replicate such operation for ensuring the safety of International players. But these agencies and institutions have in the past failed to provide safety to common people in Karachi.

Read more: India rejects cricket diplomacy

Life in Karachi is still very cheap. PSL is a refresher in a pessimistic environment but publicizing it to claim that terrorism is defeated is apparently a far cry. Reviving Karachi & to attain its glory of the past will take more than a cricket match. Nevertheless, it’s a step in a right direction.


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