Excitement at its peak as preparations ahead of PSL 5 playoffs completed


The preparations for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five playoffs are in full swing and the fans’ excitement has reached its peak before the title fight, starting from tomorrow between the four best teams of the competition.

PSL 5 knockout stage was postponed indefinitely on March 17 due to the novel coronavirus. However, after the resumption of sports activities at the international level, especially cricket, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the dates of the remaining four matches of PSL 5.

Sad news for fans that the matches will be played behind closed doors and spectators will not be allowed to enter the stadium but they will be cheering whole-heartedly from their homes.

PSL 5 team standings

Former champions Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators have been knocked out while Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars have qualified in the final four for the first time in the tournament’s history. Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi are the other two teams will be battling it out for the title.

Multan Sultans finished at the top of the table with 14 points while Karachi Kings stand at second with 11 points. Lahore Qalandars won five and lost as many to gain valuable 10 points, claiming the fourth spot whereas Peshawar Zalmi finished with 9 points, inching Gladiators with a better run-rate for the fourth spot.

The teams have been toiling hard in training sessions and practice matches. The four franchises took part in practice matches at the National Stadium and Moin Khan Cricket Academy in Karachi.

Foreign players joined their respective squads

International stars have also reached the city of lights and have joined their respective squads. Top overseas pros Faf du Plessis, Alex Hales, Tamim Iqbal, Ben Dunk and Imran Tahir after isolating for a mandatory quarantine period, joined their squads.

Sultans were hit by a major blow as their two players James Vince and Mahmudullah ruled out due to being COVID-19 positive. Joe Denly and Brendan Taylor replaced them.

Meanwhile, strict security arrangements have been made inside and outside the stadium for the safety of the teams and the peaceful conduct of the matches. Teams are being provided with strict security for practice and training sessions.

It is pertinent to mention that only Zalmi had the honor of becoming the champions in the past out of these sides while Kings, Sultans and Qalandars have not been able to lift the trophy and are eager to grab their hands on the prestigious trophy.

The qualifier match will be played between Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings on November 14 at 3.00 pm while Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi will compete in the first eliminator on the same day.

The team that loses the qualifier will face the winner of the first eliminator on November 15, while the league final will be held on November 17.

The league’s winning team will receive $500,000 prize money, while the runner-up will receive $200,000.

Meanwhile, officials for these matches are also finalized. International recognized umpires, Aleem Dar, Michael Gough and Ahsan Raza will officiate these matches while Mohammad Anees will serve as a match referee.

Traffic plan released till November 17

Meanwhile, Karachi Traffic Police has issued a traffic plan for the upcoming matches. According to the plan, the traffic coming from Liaqatabad No. 10 will be diverted from Hassan Square Bridge to New Town.

Similarly, traffic from Nipa to Hassan Square is also being diverted to Newtown while the National Stadium flyover has been closed to all types of traffic.

Traffic officials are also on the scene to maintain the flow of traffic while a heavy contingent of police is deployed inside and outside the iconic National Stadium.