DUBAI - Pakistan Super League (PSL) management Tuesday organised a ‘meet and greet’ to welcome foreign players and coaches for the second edition of the tournament that gets underway in Dubai on February 9.

Chairman PSL Najam Sethi welcomed players and thanked them for their participation in the league and also briefed them about the security plans that are being put in place to ensure a memorable final at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on March 5.

“Giles Clarke and his team visited Lahore last month and were hugely impressed by the security arrangements. The government has also made a huge investment in securing the city and has assured us to provide fool-proof security to the players who will travel to Lahore for the PSL final,” he said.

Sethi further said that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also invited internationally reputed security consultants to visit Dubai and allay the doubts and fears of the players. “We will provide detailed briefings in the days ahead and the players who travel for the final will be making a monumental contribution for passionate followers of the game in Pakistan,” he said.

Sethi has reiterated on several occasions that a special draft may be held for the PSL final so that leagues could select players who agree to play in Lahore. Earlier, this year, the Federation of International Cricketers Association’s (FICA) had issued a security advisory to international players against visiting Pakistan. The PSL chairman, however, had rejected the advisory and reiterated that the final will be held in Lahore.

Owner of the Karachi Kings franchise Salman Iqbal and all-rounder Shoaib Malik also assured foreign players that Lahore is a safe venue and all franchise owners and management will do everything possible to ensure the safety of the players travelling for the final.

The last time foreign cricketers played on Pakistani soil was in 2015, when a Zimbabwe side toured the country from May 19 to 31 that year. Three ODIs and two Twenty20 matches were played during the tour, all at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, where the PSL 2017 final is scheduled to be held.

The league has attracted the likes of New Zealand's Brendon McCullum, West Indies' Darren Sammy, and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, and in an effort to ease player worries about Lahore, Sethi told them of the government's security plans. "The government has also made a huge investment in securing the city, and rest assured we will provide foolproof security to the players who will travel for the PSL final," Sethi said.

Wasim Akram, running Islamabad United in the PSL, reminded foreign players how six cricketers each from Pakistan and India played in Sri Lanka before the 1996 Cricket World Cup, despite Australia and the West Indies forfeiting their group matches in Sri Lanka due to security concerns.

"We played a positive role in 1996 that was warmly welcomed in Sri Lanka," Akram said. "It is imperative that cricket returns to the country, Pakistanis are passionate about the game. My wife, who is an Australian, is staying in Karachi for the last four years and she is having a great time ... the government will do everything possible to ensure the safety of the players." Ramiz Raja, another former Test captain turned television commentator, who lives in Lahore, said if foreign cricketers played in the PSL final it will have a huge, positive effect on Pakistan cricket fans.

"The perceptions about the place might be muddled, but I can assure you that the players who will travel will be making a priceless contribution to Pakistan cricket," Raja said. "Once you taste the flavour of cricket in the country you will come to realise how welcoming the crowds are."