PSL final to portray soft image of country: Former captains

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LAHORE, Mar 2 (APP): Former Pakistan cricket captains, Zaheer Abbas and Intikhab Alam Thursday said the final of second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) will portray a soft image of the country, besides sending a positive message to the world that Pakistan is safe to host elite cricket events.
“It is going to be a big cricket event after past many years and its successful holding will help in bettering the Pakistan’s image among all cricket playing countries across the globe”, they told APP.
Zaheer, who is also the director of Sports Board Punjab’s cricket academies said PSL final will also help in restoring Pakistan’s image at the highest forum of International Cricket Council sending a goodwill message that security situation is improving here with each passing day for the resumption of international sports events.
“It is not just a final of a cricket league, it is also going to be a decisive moment and collective efforts are needed to make it a big success”, said Zaheer also known as a run-making machine who captained Pakistan’s cricket team from 1984-85.
He said Pakistan Cricket Board and PSL authorities have put in years long efforts to see that the PSL final is being played in our homeland.
“The response of the Federal and Punjab governments is tremendous as they are extending all out cooperation to make this event a success”,he said adding, “Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif is personally taking interest for the peaceful conduct of the mega event”.
“PSL final will forge national unity bringing closer the people of the country who want resumption of cricket as there has been no international cricket event on our soil since 2009”, said Intikhab Alam who led Pakistan’s team from 1969-73 and also served the game in different roles for more than three decades.
He said the PSL final will serve national cricket and youth will get big inspiration while watching Pakistan’s and foreign players in action
at home turf here.
“There is a dire need to bring back International cricket to Pakistan and we must build on the success of PSL final for creating an atmosphere which is conducive for international matches”, he said adding, “the participation of the foreign players in the final will be a step forward to restore their confidence.”
Both the former captains were of the view that PSL has unearthed new cricket talent and some players have already proved their potential to be a part of the national team.
They eulogized inclusion of four foreign players in each team of the final and wished good luck to both the finalists.