Chairman International Cricket Council (ICC) Task Force on Pakistan Giles Clarke voiced his support Sunday for a Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore despite a recent wave of terror attacks in the country.
“I have a very strong opinion that we should never, ever allow terrorism and terrorists to dictate what we do. Terrorists have no place in our society or anywhere on earth,” Clarke said.
“They (terrorists) should share whatever arguments they have. They should present them without killing and injuring fellow citizens,” he said, adding that bombs and bullets do not explain anything.
Clarke said that Pakistanis are “true cricket lovers” and they deserve to see their “heroes and world stars” playing at home.
“I thinks it’s extremely important that the people of Pakistan watch their heroes playing cricket at home against the best players in the world ─ and in the case of PSL, both with and against them.
“Pakistanis are cricket fanatics and have a great knowledge of cricket and I’m sure they want to see the best players playing at home and enjoy thrilling matches.”
Clarke said he was impressed with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Punjab government’s efforts to provide the best security for the PSL final.
Extending a personal opinion, Clarke said, “This is a long road, and we are starting with the first step. It’s really important that everybody in world cricket and in Pakistan supports those who seek to bring a calm and save environment for sports to be played in and watched.”
He appreciated “the massive investment made… the determination of the people of Punjab, and the dedication they show [for holding the PSL final in Lahore].”
“It is critical, in my judgement, that Pakistan succeeds in doing so.”
Clarke reiterated the importance of holding the final match of the tournament in Lahore ─ “so we can bring bilateral international cricket to Pakistan.”
Clarke hinted that he will visit Lahore when the final will be played there. He praised the standards of the PSL, saying that he enjoyed some of the “thrilling matches”.
“There is a lot of unpredictability about games and it is exciting… The premier domestic event of Pakistani cricket must be held in Pakistan so that the people of Pakistan are able to watch and enjoy cricket.”