Three English players of the Quetta Gladiators — Kevin Pietersen, Tymal Mills and Luke Wright —announced on Wednesday that they will not be participating in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final to be played in Lahore on March 5.
Luke Wright said in a tweet that he has a “young family” and for him the game was not “worth the risk”. “It’s with a heavy heart I will not be coming to Lahore,” he tweeted.
Quetta Gladiators qualified for the finals on Tuesday after conquering Peshawar Zalmi by one run in Sharjah.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the Quetta Gladiators told DawnNews that the three English players had officially informed the team management about their decision to not travel to Lahore for the final.
The official said they had tried to convince the players to proceed to Lahore, but recent terror attacks in Pakistan had cast serious doubts on the players’ minds.
The Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) had also advised the players against travelling to Lahore.
PSL is in the midst of replacing foreign commentators — including Danny Morrison, Alan Wilkins and Mel Jones — who have backed out from covering the final, while Ian Bishop’s contract is coming to an end. Reports suggested that PCB is in talks with Waqar Younins, who is in the UAE, to take up the job of commentator.
The PSL management had instructed all the teams to work on their own contingency plan in a scenario wherein their foreign players decide not to travel to Pakistan.
PCB Chairman Najam Sethi had assured the presence of foreign players in the final, noting that there is a backup list of players for a worst-case scenario.
Punjab government on Monday gave the go-ahead for the final to take place in Lahore following thorough consideration and evaluation of security conditions in the country following a series of bomb blasts in the preceding weeks.
As part of the preparations for the final, Gaddafi Stadium has been furnished with a media facility that can house up to 150 reporters.
The Punjab government has decided to accord both the teams contesting the PSL final five-tier security to avert any eventuality.