Dubai: The excitement of bigtime cricket returning to Pakistan could be felt even with the last leg of the Pakistan Super League matches still being played in the UAE.
The demand for tickets for the eliminators in Lahore and final in Karachi is the hot topic in and around the stadium here.
Visiting journalists from Pakistan shared stories of their friends and relatives standing in queue for hours to buy match tickets.
A fan is delighted after managing to purchase her ticket for the Pakistan leg of the PSL. Organiser
The online portal for the sale of tickets was reportedly crashed due to heavy rise in traffic on its servers.
Karachi has been starved of top class cricket for over a decade though Lahore had staged the PSL final and a World XI match last year.
Najam Sethi, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, appreciated the sentiments of the Karachi cricket fans.
“We want to put Karachi back on the cricket map once again. The PSL final (March 25) and the three T20 International matches against West Indies next month in Karachi is meant for people to welcome it.”
Plans are also on to boost Pakistan cricket in a big way through a tri-lateral series involving West Indies and Bangladesh too.
Sethi wants PSL in future to be played in front of packed stadium and is hoping to stage more matches in Pakistan.
Cricet fans in the UAE happily show their ticket to the game.
Stadiums in Pakistan are being modified right away for this purpose. “We are making a determined effort to take PSL back to Pakistan it could be next year, or the year after that. We will keep trying. I have told my infrastructure department that the Rawalpindi stadium and Karachi stadium should be fully ready by next year,” said Sethi, who revealed that Multan and Lahore stadiums are fully ready.
So much is the demand for PSL match tickets in Pakistan that Sethi has appealed not to ask for free tickets. “Please don’t ask me for free passes. It is a request to family, friends, government officials, corporate bigwigs, VIPS and VIP wannabes.”
The most valued ticket for final.
Speaking to Gulf News recently, the legendary Waqar Younis said: “PSL should be going back to Pakistan by next year. Things have improved in Pakistan and that is why this year we are already having a few games there.”
Bazid Khan, a former international cricketer-turned-commentator too remarked to Gulf News: “I think the main goal must be to take this tournament back to Pakistan. It will be a massive thing. We have staged the final there and this year we are staging more games and next year we should have even more games there. Once the league goes to Pakistan, you will see it total different. Just imagine Lahore and Karachi match being played in Lahore there will be so much following. I think for the league to develop and get bigger, it has to go to Pakistan.”