LAHORE (DNA) – Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani on Monday said that from the very first day, India is trying to undermine the Pakistan Super League (PSL).Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Monday, he said that Pakistan faced many challenges like terrorism, adding that the protection of cricketers is our top most priority.“Terrorism would win if cricket is stopped in Pakistan,” he said and added cricket shouldn’t be stopped due to terrorism.
The PCB chairman further added that politics has entered regional cricket, adding that politics and sports should be kept separate. It only damages cricket, he said.
Mani, on behalf of the PCB, has paid glowing tributes and thanked the die-hard cricket fans, the 39 foreign international players and all the local stars for making the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 an overwhelming success.
He termed the league as a ‘resilient’ event and said it had delivered all event objectives despite tough operational and logistical challenges caused due to reasons beyond the PCB’s control.
Mani also thanked all the franchise owners and their players, as well as the Sindh Government and all the security agencies involved in providing a safe and secure environment for the commercial partners, players, spectators, officials, media and service providers for the eight Pakistan-leg matches played at the National Stadium.
“The fans made this a truly Pakistan event. Cricket euphoria gripped the entire country as the fans got behind the tournament and made this an overwhelming success,” Mani said, adding “the fans not only enjoyed and celebrated the festival of cricket, but they also portrayed a very positive image of Pakistan.”
“This is the real power of a nation and I can’t thank the fans enough for the way they got behind the tournament, supported all the teams and applauded good performances,” Mani said.
“The success of any event is gauged by crowd attendances and I am delighted that the overall crowd turnout at the National Stadium over the seven match days was nearly 95 percent. This reflects the passion and love for cricket here.
The PCB chairman said: “Despite facing severe mid-series operational and logistical challenges, the league didn’t drop the ball at any stage and continued to maintain its very high standard and quality.”
“The 2019 event has shown how resilient this league is. Having lost the production partner in the first week and then the fallout from last month’s turn of events, to pull everything smoothly, flawlessly and professionally reflects the strength and power of this league.
“Shane Watson’s decision to come to Karachi after having declined pre-event, is a testament of the confidence he had in the PCB and all the security agencies. It was also a validation that he too considered Karachi as a peaceful and cricket-loving city, while reinforcing his respect and commitment for the league.”