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Well done, Pakistan

The PMLN and Imran Khan, it seems, could not give cricket a chance; with the latter accused of being an all-round spoilsport. For he proved unwilling to play ball and accept the handwritten invitation by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi; in which the latter offered to personally receive him if only he would go along and watch the PSL 3 final in Karachi.
Yet the PTI chief preferred instead to caution the citizenry to not take their eye off the ball in terms of ongoing corruption and money-laundering cases against the ruling regime. Not unsurprisingly, Minister for Information Marriyam Aurangzeb was quick to point out how the Punjab Chief Minister had made better use of his Twitter time by leaving politics aside to direct foreign players to the best kebabs in town. A shame, then, that Ms Aurangzeb could not to do the same.
While cricket fans were firmly focused on matches, Pakistan’s security forces were first and foremost concerned with security. Which, is of course, another way of saying that terrorists should not emerge victorious. That they did not ought to be celebrated by the whole country, across political divides. Ultimately, however, Khan did see sense and offered an eight-point long statement underscoring his appreciation for the matches that consolidated a return of international cricket to Pakistan.
This is as it should be; though there are those who cannot but help recall how the PTI chief last year referred to players from Africa as phateechar (low-class or inferior).
Be all this as it may, cricket still managed to take centre stage. Though there could, of course, only be one winner. And it was Islamabad United that stole the show. However, it is hoped that Peshawar Zalmi fans will forgive Kamran Akmal for his butter fingers this time around. For regardless of who won or lost, the match was a huge success for Karachi and for Pakistani cricket.
Nevertheless, social media soon became flooded with good humoured memes poking fun at Kamran for dropping the catch that could have changed the course of the final outcome. Yet we hope that Zalmi fans will not forget that credit goes to the latter for taking the team all the way to the finals.
Kudos also goes to the PCB and the Sindh government for their part in ensuring that things went smoothly. And even though the security situation did not allow fans freely drive to the stadium, hundreds of spectators queued up at designated shuttle pick-up spots to head to the venue; which was completely packed some two hours before the game started.
Let us hope that the PSL final represents a sign of things to come for Karachi; a city beleaguered by gang violence, terrorism and extra-judicial killings.



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