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Glitzy performances and fanfare mark return of cricket to Karachi

FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES OF THE MATCH HERE JP Duminy and Darren Sammy are awaiting for the coin toss to take place which will determine which side bats first and which side bowls first, as the closing ceremony of the Pakistan Super League 2018 concluded a short while ago. PSL CLOSING CEREMONY CONCLUDES The closing ceremony...

SAMAA | - Posted: Mar 25, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Mar 25, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Glitzy performances and fanfare mark return of cricket to Karachi

FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES OF THE MATCH HERE

JP Duminy and Darren Sammy are awaiting for the coin toss to take place which will determine which side bats first and which side bowls first, as the closing ceremony of the Pakistan Super League 2018 concluded a short while ago.

PSL CLOSING CEREMONY CONCLUDES

The closing ceremony of the Pakistan Super League 2018 has concluded after Ali Zafar’s performance.

Pop star Ali Zafar has taken to the stage and is now performing his hit songs live. He is backed up by dancers.

Darren Sammy, Fletcher and Hasan Ali danced to the tunes of Strings on stage. Sammy chants slogan of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and crowd responds enthusiastically.

Aima Baig and Farhan Saeed performed live to entertain the audience. Shehzad Roy is now on the stage and is about to kick off his performance.

Shehzad Roy’s performance has ended and now acclaimed band Strings have taken to the stage.

‘Chacha Pakistan’, ‘Pk’ arrive for Islamabad-Peshawar clash


Chacha Pakistan and Pk both made their way to the National Stadium in Karachi for the Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi final clash.

“I befriended Pk in Dubai and Sharjah. The love I have for him persuaded me to come to Karachi for the PSL final,” said Chacha Pakistan. 

Pk on the other hand spoke about how the heat had caused him difficulties.

SETHI THANKS SECURITY FORCES, SINDH GOVT

PCB Chairman Najam Sethi is addressing the spectators gathered at the stadium. The PCB Chairman said that he was thankful to the security forces and Sindh government for ensuring proper security arrangements were in place for the final.

“I want to make clear that this PSL does not belong to me and neither does it belong to any security institution or any political party–it belongs to you, the people of Pakistan,” he said.

Sethi told spectators that they would have to show up in huge numbers once again when the West Indian cricket team will come to Pakistan.

LIVE FROM THE SHUTTLE BUS: FANS UNABLE TO WAIT FOR HISTORIC PSL FINAL

SAMAA TV’s correspondent Sanjay lets us know what the atmosphere is from within a shuttle bus where Zalmi and United fans are huddled together before the epic clash.

GATES TO REMAIN OPEN FOR SPECTATORS TILL 7pm

Gates will remain open for spectators till 7:00pm. Earlier, the fates were scheduled to close at 5:00pm however, the time has been extended.

The match will commence at 08:00pm.

INTERNATIONAL STARS ARRIVE AT KARACHI STADIUM


International cricketers arrived at the National Stadium of Karachi in the presence of heavily armed security personnel. Steven Finn from Islamabad United was the first to enter the central building of the National Stadium.

The cricketers, both belonging from Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United, were brought in four bomb-proof vehicles to the stadium.

Reported by Shoaib Jutt.

KARACHIITES SHOW UP IN HUGE NUMBERS FOR PSL FINAL

Sporting Karachi Kings’ jerseys, a group of youngsters said that they had turned up to show support for cricket in the city.

“We were supporting Karachi Kings but they were not able to reach the final,” said one fan. “However, we are here to support Pakistan since whoever wins, be it Islamabad or Peshawar, our country triumphs at the end,” he said.

Another spectator was of the view that this was the perfect opportunity for the world to witness how Karachiites loved cricket and Pakistan was a peaceful country.

MAY THE BEST TEAM WIN: NISAR KHORO

SAMAA TV’s Karachi Bureau chief Faryal Arif spoke to senior PPP leader Nisar Khoro and asked him which team was he supporting.

“The match is taking place in Karachi but Karachi Kings is not playing,” he said. “This is sports, may the best team win,” he added.

Nisar Khoro stated that he was enjoying the weather and the atmosphere before the game.

LIVE FROM THE SHUTTLE BUS: ISB FANS ECSTATIC

SAMAA TV’s correspondent Shoaib Jutt speaks to fans of Islamabad United live from the shuttle bus. Fans are ecstatic to witness their favourite team in the final.

 

SHAHID KHAQAN ABBASI CONGRATULATES NATION

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi thanked the nation on making Pakistan Super League a successful event.

“The tournament invoked a new spirit in the nation,” the PM said.

Abbasi said that the federal government is spreading happiness under the vision of former premier Nawaz Sharif.

There was the cooperation of the provincial government in making the event a success,” he said.

Abbasi said that the security agencies played a key role as well.


Shortage of water irks spectators

Spectators complained of mismanagement at the PSL final as the absence of cold water and covered spaces irked them, reports our anchorperson Faisal Karim

According to them, the police and Rangers were cooperative but the PCB staff was nowhere to be seen. They complained that water was unavailable mostly.

“These chairs are not worth Rs12,000 that we paid for the tickets,” they said. “There is no water and even if it is available somewhere, it is hot.”

Another man complained of how they were forced to sit under the scorching sun as no covered areas were provided.

An aged man said he needs water but the staff does not allow. “The water here is so hot that you can’t drink it,” he said. If you have to eat or drink something, you have to go to the food court, which is 600 metres away, he said.


Rangers hand out flowers

Rangers and traffic wardens handed out flowers to fans as they entered the venue after security checks, reports our correspondent Shoaib Jutt.

The 2018 edition of Pakistan Super League will be played between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi at Karachi’s National Stadium today. The match begins at 8pm tonight.


Words of victory in Pashto

A man in Khyber-Pakhtunkwa is confident that Peshawar Zalmi will win today’s match. Speaking to our correspondent Fayyaz Ahmed, he said the Zalmi team will emerge victorious.

Inshallah, Peshawar Zalmi is our team and we will bring the trophy the way we did before,” he says in Pashto. “Our position is much stronger. Our batting is strong and so is our bowling.”


Islamabad will win

Bhurban’s famous palmist, Asif Mehmood, has predicted that Islamabad United will win today’s match. His previous predictions about Imran Khan’s wedding and Panama Papers’ verdict have proven true.


Fans beat the heat

The weather in Karachi is too hot today. But fans are undeterred as they walk from Expo Centre to the National Stadium, reports our correspondent, Sonia Shehzad.

The shuttle service drops people at the gate of Expo Centre, from where they will walk towards the National Stadium. Disallowed items included water bottles. “We are so excited that we don’t feel the heat,” said a young man. Another said that we have been out in the sun since 12pm but are too excited.


Security duty in the heat

Our reporter Ali Hasnain speaks to scouts performing security duty for the match. Watch here:


PSL brings glitter to Karachi: ISPR

DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan Super League 2018 final has brought more glitter to Karachi.

He tweeted, “Thanks to PCB, foreign players, govt administration, security apparatus and resilient Pakistanis.”

He said that terrorism which was imposed on the country is on the way out.

“We are on the way to our rightful destination of enduring peace and stability,” he tweeted.


Food items named after players

A local cafe in Gulistan-e-Jauhar has named its beverages and food items after cricketers. The food outlet has given a unique touch to its menu. Some of them include Muhammad Sami Chicken Cheese Paratha, Hafeez Dal Paratha, Smith BBQ Paratha and Haris BBQ Cheese Paratha.


Strict security measures

Cricket fans are being let inside the stadium after strict security checks. Security was tightened as the PSL final is being held in the city after nine years. Water bottles, food items and internet devices are among the prohibited items.


Fans shout slogans

Fans are on their way to the National Stadium, shouting slogans in support of their respective teams, report our correspondents, Ali Hasnain, Sanjay Sadhwani and Sonia Shehzad.

Fans are not shying away from their match fever. They took shuttles from the parking spaces and headed towards the stadium shouting slogans, such as ‘Islamabad Zindabad’, ‘Zalmi, Zalmi’ and ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.



Stadium memories: Good old times

The stadium has provided some memorable moments to all the cricket fans. Whether it be eight wickets of Imran Khan in the test match against India or the 181-run knock by West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards in the 1987 World Cup and , the stadium has given us memories for cricketing fans to cherish.


No shuttles in Gulshan ground

There are no shuttle buses at the parking ground in Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Block 13-C as yet. They were supposed to reach by 12pm, reported our correspondent, Salman Ahmed.

It is called the ‘Gladiators’ parking. Our reporter, Sonia Shehzad, said it was very hot at the ground.


Parking spaces

Seven grounds have been allotted as parking spaces for those going to watch the match finale at the National Stadium. There are three parking spaces on University Road and as many on Kashmir Road. Another ground on Dalmia Road is also serving the same purpose.

As many as 300 shuttle buses are there to take fans to the stadium. The parking spaces are the entry points, from where you can reach the stadium via the shuttle service. The vehicles will also bring the spectators back to the parking spaces once the match ends.


50 buses ready at Urdu University ground

Fifty shuttle buses are ready at the Federal Urdu University parking ground to take fans to the National Stadium, reported our correspondent, Shahbaz Khan.


National Stadium gates open

The gates of National Stadium were opened at 12pm in the presence of heavy security.


Pakistani spending

Pakistanis have spent over Rs140 million on PSL final tickets. Who says we are a poor country?

It will be a full house at National Stadium as Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United clash today. Out of the total 32,000, only 26,000 tickets were sold. The remaining tickets were saved for franchisers. The Pakistan Cricket Board earned more than Rs140 million in total.


What’s allowed and what’s not

If you have the ticket for the PSL final, you are not done. You have to be conscious about the rules and regulations laid out well ahead of the match, reported our anchorperson, Fawad Zaidi.

You must have the ticket along with your CNIC to be allowed entry.

Outside food items are not allowed. Smoking is banned while internet devices and power banks are also among the prohibited items. Matchboxes, bottles and nail-cutters are not allowed either.

Women are advised to bring small bags.


Know your routes

Four major roads of Karachi have been closed for traffic as part of the PSL security plan, reported Shahnawaz Ali Qadri.

It was nine years ago that a cricket match was held at the National Stadium. Now that the final is in Karachi today, you might want to take a look at the roads that have been closed and the subsequent alternative routes before you head out.

According to the traffic police, a part of University Road is closed for traffic – the track from Nipa Flyover till Peoples Chowrangi.

The roads from Karsaz to Ghareebabad and from Dalmia to New Town have also been sealed. The track from Dalmia to Stadium Road is also blocked.

Containers have been placed on the roads and service lanes surrounding the stadium. Over 8,000 policemen have been deployed on security duty.

Sharae Faisal, Rashid Minhas Road and Sharae Pakistan will be open throughout.

(This is a developing story and is being updated accordingly)

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