Karachi [Pakistan], Feb. 16 (ANI): With questions being raised whether the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final would be held in Lahore following Monday's blast which claimed 13 lives, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar has said he would like the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to hold summit clash in the metropolis.
Last week, the PCB had assured "foolproof security" for the PSL finalists, following the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) advice to players not to tour Pakistan due to an extremely elevated state of insecurity in the country.
But a suicide bomber targeting police escorting a rally by pharmacists has likely ruined those hopes.
The PCB had promised to provide top-level security to the PSL finalists at Gaddafi Stadium. But a bomber targeting police negotiating with protesting pharmacists on Monday killed 13 people in Lahore, casting fresh doubt over whether foreign cricketers will risk a return to playing in Pakistan.
Following which, the cricket fans in the country started voicing their fear Monday's explosion in Lahore could derail plans to hold the highly anticipated final of the PSL there.
While speaking to media in Karachi on Thursday, Akhtar said that he would take full responsibility to make security arrangements as well as facilitate the management of the event at the National Stadium.
The five-team PSL, which began last week in the United Arab Emirates, is already being marred by match-fixing row.
Following the Lahore blast, Najam Sethi, PSL chairman, said in a talk show that he had been in contact with several foreign players who indicated they would still be willing to play the final in Lahore scheduled for March 5.
"We are in touch with other foreign players so that we could replace those (contracted international) players who are not willing to play in Lahore," the Dawn quoted Sethi as saying.
"Now I will have to start all over again.I cannot say that we will be successful or not because [the players] have families, they will have their associations which will guide them," he added.
However, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan on Wednesday said that it intends to hold the final in Lahore only.
"We want to hold the PSL final in Lahore despite the tragic incident in Lahore and we have informed the government about this. If the government doesn't think it is right to hold the final now in Lahore for security reasons they will let us know," Khan told the media in Lahore.
Some 30 foreign players are signed up with the five franchises in the PSL including top names like Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine etc. (ANI)