What’s the story?
Last week’s PSL final at Lahore was only the only instance of foreign players visiting Pakistan after Zimbabwe toured them in 2015. However, a young fan managed to enter the Peshawar Zalmi dressing room during the final.
Dawid Malan, who has never represented England in International matches, and has played in PSL since its inception revealed the incident. While speaking to ESPNcricinfo, opener Malan said, "He kind of got in at a time when all the players were walking in and he somehow managed to get in as well. I put my clothes bag down and walked around and there was this kid asking for selfies.
“I looked at the security guard in the room and asked him, 'Sorry - who's this guy?'. Suddenly, they all clicked into gear and he ended up being pushed out the gate."
In case you didn’t know...
The final of this year’s Pakistan Super League took place in Lahore. Citing security concerns, a large majority of the overseas players pulled out well before their team made it to the final.
The players who pulled out includes the likes of Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Tymal Mills and Kieron Pollard. These players were part of the tournament held in UAE but refused to travel to Pakistan for the final.
The heart of the matter
The Pakistan Super League was plagued with controversies in its second edition. It started right after the inaugural match where players who had represented Pakistan in International matches were arrested and questioned about their involvement in spot-fixing. It was followed by players refusing to travel to Pakistan.
In spite of the presence of high levels of security in and around the stadium, a teenage fan bypassed the security check and got into the Zalmi dressing room. Left-hander Malan revealed that incidents like these are worrying but expects the security to be better in the future.
He went on to add that if Pakistan wants International teams to tour, then they need to ensure even small incidents like this are not repeated.
Many players feared to play in the final of the PSL due to security reasons. Malan himself revealed that his mother did not want him to participate in the final for the same.
In the near future as well, chances of an international team visiting Pakistan look bleak, which means that people of the cricket-crazy country will need to wait until next year’s PSL to witness a cricket match featuring international players.
A young fan being spotted in the dressing room comes as a surprise in spite of heavy security prevalent around the stadium. The fan was harmless but the incident did expose a loophole present in the security system. The Pakistani authorities should tighten the screws if they expect international stars to visit their country.