The PCB has been left to ponder over the fate of the scheduled Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore after a suicide bomb attack killed 15 people and injured scores in the city.
PSL chairman Najam Sethi confirmed to Geo News channel that foreign players had refused to travel to Lahore for the final after the terrorist attack on Monday.
“The one option we have now is that if the people of Pakistan want we can hold the PSL final in Lahore sans the foreign players and officials,” he said.
Sethi said the security agencies were still clear that they would provide state level security for the final if it is held in Lahore.
“We have as yet not decided what to do, but in the next few days, I will have another talk with the foreign players and see what happens,” he said.
The PCB was keen to have the PSL final in Lahore to show that the security situation had improved in the country and had even invited security specialists and officials of other boards to come and witness the final.
Sethi said the latest terrorist incident had been a setback to the plans. Sethi had contacted the Federation of International Cricketers Association to convince them that foreign players can travel to Lahore and play the final in a safe and secure environment.
Punjab’s law minister Rana Sanaullah, while not ruling out the theory that the suicide attack claimed by a splinter group of the Tehreek-e-Talilban was carried out to disrupt the PSL final, insisted security was still good in Lahore.
“We are willing to provide the best security to foreign players. Lahore is still a safe city and the final can be held here,” he said.
A senior official of the board told PTI that the latest incident had also hit the goodwill created by the visit of ECB chief Giles Clarke to Lahore last month.
Clarke heads the ICC’s special task force on Pakistan cricket and submitted a positive report on the security situation to the ICC after his visit.