The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has turned down the invitation of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to attend the final of Pakistan Super League (PSL) which is to be held in Karachi on March 17, 2019. The Chairman of PCB Ehsan Mani has sent the invites to International Cricket Council (ICC) and all the boards affiliated with the governing body to visit the finals but the head of ICC Shashank Manohar and acting-president of BCCI CK Khanna cited personal reasons for not attending the eve. However, ICC’s CEO David Richardson will be present at the PSL final to watch the game.
Ahead of the final Mani said, “The idea behind sending the invitations is that when they come and see for themselves the arrangements for the final it will change the perception of people around the world about security in Pakistan and convince them it is safe to play international cricket in Pakistan”.
PCB has sent out the invitations to all the senior officials including India, Afghanistan, England, Ireland, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The Board had already pitched India to attend the finals before worsening conditions between both the countries in the wake of Pulwama attack which killed 40 CRPF soldiers on February 14. This leads to the reason that all the eight matches of Pakistan leg of PSL 2019 have been scheduled in Karachi. Earlier, three matches were scheduled in Lahore but after the closure of airspace in the city and awakening tensions between India and Pakistan, venue was shifted by PCB.
Though, it is not yet confirmed that whether Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will attend the final match or not. PSL 2019 was slated to begin from March 7 in Pakistan with Karachi Kings facing Peshawar Zalmi.