Leading T20 specialists from England, including former skipper Kevin Pietersen and newest IPL big buy Tymal Mills, have refused lucrative bonus payments to play the Pakistan Super League final in Lahore citing security concerns.
The PCB’s efforts to hold the PSL final in Lahore to convince the cricket world that it was safe to play international cricket in the country received a setback after the English T20 specialists refused additional bonus payments between USD 10,000 and USD 50,000.
All three English players are in the Quetta Gladiators franchise, which qualified for the final. Pietersen has in fact already returned to London and has tweeted about it.
Well-informed sources told PTI that chances of other leading foreign players in the three franchises which remain in contention to join Quetta in the final are also unlikely to agree to travel to Lahore.
“Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena who are representing Karachi Kings, David Malan and Chris Jordan who are with Peshawar Zalmi and Dwayne Smith, Samuel Badree, Brad Haddin, Shane Watson, Ben Duckett who are with Islamabad United have indicated to their franchises they are not interested in taking the risk of going to Lahore,” one source said.
The source said the owner of Peshawar Zalmi, Javed Afridi was doing his best to convince West Indian, Darren Sammy who is the franchise captain to play in Lahore if their team qualifies for the final.
PSL chairman Najam Sethi has prepared a secondary list of foreign players many of them retired or not well known for an emergency players draft to be held for the two finalists if their main overseas players don’t travel to Lahore.
Even the foreign commentators have backed out from travelling to Lahore for the final.
As a result, the PCB has been forced to sign an emergency deal with a Dubai based TV production company to produce the final in Lahore. The ones who were contracted during the Dubai leg — Sunset and Vine television have also pulled out.