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PSL 3 : Cricket homecoming

Homecoming is a feeling. It’s a kind of genuine celebration, a grin that overwhelms your face and warms your innards. And when it’s a homecoming of your childhood beloved you feel over the moon. Yes, cricket is our beloved since our childhood and the passion for cricket in Pakistan is to die for. It was a kind of nightmare that has finally over and homecoming is in full swing.

So after witnessed a successful episode of PSL season 2 final, Pakistan’s crazy cricket fans will go through another level of excitement with the two play-offs in Lahore and the grand final in Karachi. This year, as promised by PCB Chairman Najam Sethi, the city of lights has been so fortunate to host a mega national cricketing event PSL final in the legendary National Stadium, Karachi.

Today’s play-off is a battle between two provinces which could arguably be termed as the valiant folks of Pakistan. Today is a battle between a man in the dugout, the greatest player of all, Vivian Richards, who the entire world aspires to be against another man in the dugout, the least debatable record in the legendary club of Pakistan post-2010, Younus Khan, who is arguably the best test batsman this country has ever seen.

In a rematch of 2017’s momentous Pakistan Super League final, the Quetta Gladiators face Peshawar Zalmi in the first elimination match of the HBL PSL playoff round — for which Lahore is all set to host in Qaddafi Stadium. Both the teams of Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators have been reached at the spots and the players themselves are super excited.

Replacements for Australia’s Shane Watson and England’s Kevin Pietersen — both Quetta stars who chose out of the tourney rather than travel to Pakistan — were declared on Monday. Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah and Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera will join the Gladiators in the match. South African batsman Rilee Rossouw, who had to choose between country and Pakistan, surprisingly landed here yesterday to play the play-off in Lahore.

The arrangements have been finalised and strict security arrangements are being made for the two matches as shops and offices located nearby the stadium will remain closed for three days. Police contingent consisting of 18,000 staffs will stand guard during the matches. Meantime, law-enforcement agencies also directed instructions at Punjab Stadium to deal with any emergency situation. The Lahore Transport Company (LTC) will also launch an exclusive shuttle service free-of-charge to transport cricket enthusiasts from designated parking spots to the stadium for the playoffs.

Nazish Islam - a media graduate with an undying love for chai, books, traveling, series shows, sports, hijab, and of course writing.

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