As the third edition of the Pakistan Super League draws to a close, the uncertainty of foreign players skipping the playoffs is looming large over the tournament.
England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan joined Karachi Kings in Sharjah, as did other English stars like Jason Roy (Quetta Gladiators), Alex Hales and Sam Billings (Islamabad United) on Monday. But none of them are willing to travel to Pakistan because of security concerns.
Morgan, Roy and Hales have already publicly made it clear they will not be available for the play-off matches in Lahore or the final in Karachi on March 25, if their franchises qualify. Doubts also remain over whether Billings will come to Pakistan.
Earlier Kevin Pietersen over a press conference made it clear to not travel to Pakistan if his franchise Quetta Gladiators makes it to the knockouts. On similar lines are Shane Watson and Kumar Sangakkara who also might pull out from travelling to Pakistan if their teams makes it to the final four.
Sangakkara was in the Sri Lankan team which was attacked by militants in March 2009 in Lahore, leading to the isolation of Pakistan as an international cricket venue and forcing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to not only hold its home series, but also the PSL in the Emirates.
Pakistan Cricket Chief Najam Sethi has asked the franchises to keep their replacements ready if the foreign players do not travel to Pakistan to for further participation in the tournament.
“I think, last year, we have shown that we can provide the best security cover for international matches in Pakistan. Security experts from the ICC and FICA have also visited Lahore and Karachi, and inspected the security arrangements there. So there is nothing to worry about for our foreign players in the PSL,” he said.
Pakistan will host Windies for a three-match T20I series after the conclusion of the PSL.