The PSL final , that has brought smiles on the faces of millions of Pakistanis, has been considered infelicitous at a time when Pakistan is being manacled by a recent wave of terrorism. The recent childish statements by Imran Khan – who himself is a cricket legend – and a few other politicians, to politicize the successful PSL event, are nothing but an attempt to tarnish the already distorted image of Pakistan. Cricket is in the blood and soul of every Pakistani, and criticising the final match that has led to cricket subjugating terrorism, is an attempt to add to the agony of already bleeding nation. Being a cricket crazy nation, Pakistanis do not want their politicians and leaders to obliterate their felicity. Besides bringing smiles, this cricketing event has catalyzed many positive outcomes, including a light for the revival of international cricket, and has helped bring forward a positive image of Pakistan on the international forum, at a time when the sole objective of the enemy is to isolate us.

Instead of welcoming the international players and officials, Khan saab has dubbed the event nothing but an attempt of the government to hide its corruption scandal behind the veil of cricket. He also called the international players “phateechar” and termed them as unknown cricketers, "picked up from Africa". He further added that pursuit of money can force any international player to come and play in Pakistan without realizing the fact that a country, facing menace of extremism, where a trivial politician does not bother to move without security and protocol, the arrival of the greats like Sir Vivian Richards, Darren Sammy and Dean Jones must be embraced. This would have been advisable, not only to alleviate the deteriorating graph of Khan’s popularity, but also to bring joy on the faces of the long suffering masses of Pakistan.

A critical evaluation of the decision to hold the Pakistan Super League’s final in Lahore gives us numerous positive outcomes. First, the final is a rebuttal to the hawkish claims of enemies regarding Pakistan being a terrorist state. Pakistan, which has been embarrassed on many international forums including Heart of Asia (HoA) conference and United Nations’ General Assembly, following outrageous accusations, has managed to show resilience to all its detractors.

Second, the successful PSL final is the answer to the anarchy witnessed during the last whole month. It has helped to restore the positive image of Pakistan – renowned international media houses, BBC and CNN to name a couple, have covered the event, highlighting the positivity. Moreover, this event has also validated the success of the government in providing foolproof security to not only the domestic and international players, but also the thousands of spectators.

Third, the claim that renowned international players would not be there for the final has also been proven wrong. The arrival of Darren Sammy, the two-time World Cup winning West Indian captain; Sir Vivian Richards, a cricket legend who needs no introduction and Englishmen, Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan – who travelled to Lahore when their compatriots were pulling out – and others, validated the success of the event. They provided the cricket lovers an opportunity to witness the gleaming cricketing stars playing in front of them. And keeping aside the declination of a few players due to security concerns, this event remained successful in providing recreation to an entertainment starved country. Moreover, the success of the PSL final has paved the way to conduct the upcoming PSL edition in Pakistan.

Fourth, and the most important result of PSL, is the ray of light that has appeared in the form of revival of international cricket in Pakistan. International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced to hold four T20 matches this year in September, between Pakistan and a World XI. Najam Sethi, Chairman PSL, also showed inclination toward hosting a series of matches this year by inviting international teams to Pakistan. Moreover, an invitation has been extended to the boards of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to send their teams to Pakistan. The halt on the international cricket, imposed in March 2009 in the aftermath of an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, is expected to be lifted as a result of the success of this event. The numerous economic, social and political benefits in the form of revival of international cricket, is what is needed by Pakistan in this time of anarchy, chaos and extremism.

Lastly, one can say that hosting of PSL final in Lahore has proved to be a win-win situation for Pakistan. In the prism of terrorism, any minutest effort made to alleviate the severity of the sufferings of Pakistanis must be welcomed wholeheartedly. This event has helped the masses forget their differences, related to ethnicity and religious factions, and have enabled them to enjoy the event as a united Pakistani nation.

The PSL final has provided the necessary glimmer to revive the languishing fate of international cricket in Pakistan. It enabled to defeat all the odds including extremism and terrorism and the dictum of “cricket is the winner” validated its meaning. 

So, it’s a request to Khan Saab, from all the cricket lovers, to abstain from politicizing the event that has resulted in far reaching benefits in the form of revival of international cricket, unity and felicity among Pakistanis.