Excitement at peak for PSL Play Offs at Gaddafi Stadium

Shahid Afridi

In Pakistan Super League, first eliminator match between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi will be played in Lahore today (Tuesday).

The first 31 matches of the league - started in 2016 in the style of the Indian Premier League - were held in Dubai and Sharjah. Liam Dawson scored a 35 ball 62 that included 6 fours and four sixes.

Phenomenal Kamran was so severe with bat that he not only created PSL history by smashing fastest fifty off 17 balls, surpassing Islamabad United Luke Ronchi's 19-ball fifty, but also played match-winning knock of 27-ball 77 to help Zalmi qualify for the final where they will take on Islamabad United at National Stadium Karachi on March 25.

Despite the encouraging signs, some of the PSL's top stars preferred not to play in Pakistan, including Quetta Gladiators batsman Kevin Pietersen who appeared to announce his retirement instead.

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Afridi, who was injured during the course of the third PSL which proved decisive in his team Karachi Kings' failure to reach the final, also said that the increased number of foreign players coming to Pakistan for the playoffs and final was exciting. As well as the final in Karachi, both eliminators were held in Lahore this week - a step forward from previous year, when only the final was held on Pakistani soil. What is worse is that we can not even point fingers at the Pakistan Cricket Board or these cricketers for refusing to play in Pakistan, because the security situation in the country is still unstable.

That was followed by three T20s against a World XI last September and the emotional return of Sri Lanka for one T20 in October, all in Lahore, with unprecedented security arrangements in place. A lot of security personnel were involved for the event. Radio Pakistan will broadcast running commentary on the match from Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.

"It is a very big step forward but I also believe that in future only those foreign players should be invited for the PSL who agree to also come and play in Pakistan when required", he added.

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