PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani had all praise for the people of Karachi for the way they supported the cause throughout. He said more than 2 lac people have come to National Stadium Karachi to witness the live action, while around 150 million fans have watched it over television.
“This was a remarkable endorsement of PSL. Due to the geo-political situation, it was important that we demonstrated that Pakistan is capable of holding such an event,” he said while addressing a press conference on Monday.
Initially, eight matches were scheduled to take place in Pakistan, three in Lahore and five in Karachi. But, due to the political conditions in with India, there were suggestions of holding those matches in the UAE or at least host the Lahore leg at the adopted home.
However, PCB stood firm and decided to stage all eight matches at the National Stadium Karachi despite numerous challenges. He also praised the local administration, CM Sindh and all the security apparatus for the way they mobilize their resources.
“We tried not to show any signs of stress to the other side [our enemies], we handled everything professionally, efficiently and PCB staff worked extremely hard to make it possible [hosting matches in Karachi],” said Mani.
PCB faced a problem of technical staff and logistics for production due to the disturbed flight schedule because of the war-like situation with the neighbouring country, India.
“We learned that we do not have operators in Pakistan who can operate these modern equipment like spider-cams, hawk-eyes” he said. “We will hope to work on that in the coming year with PTV and other channels for its capacity building.”
Mani said cricket should not be stopped due to terrorism as it means a win for the terrorists. When the tragic Christchurch incident took place, the board immediately released a press release for condolence and also contacted New Zealand Cricket Board to express solidarity.
“The CEO of ICC, Dave Richardson also hailed the reaction of Pakistan Cricket Board on the incident. People forget that we are also the victim of terrorism and they are now understanding what sort of challenges are there in the world, the situation in Pakistan is not different from any other part of the world.
“Cricket should not stop [because of terrorism], if we stop cricket because of terrorism, there is only one winner and that are terrorists,” he said.
The PCB boss mentioned the lesson that cricket teaches about spirit, for which he gave example of Islamabad United who dedicated their Spirit of Cricket Award to their player Asif Ali, whose young daughter is battling cancer.