KARACHI: Players of Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi arrived in Karachi to play the final match of Pakistan Super League (PSL) third edition at the National Stadium.
Islamabad, the winner of the inaugural edition of PSL, defeated Karachi Kings in the qualifier in Dubai to earn a direct flight to the final in Karachi, which will be played on Sunday.
“We are arriving tonight to Karachi, our foreign players are also coming with the squad for the match,” said an official of Islamabad United.
Islamabad’s foreign players who have agreed to visit Pakistan include South African JP Duminy, England’s Samit Patel, West Indian Chadwick Walton, New Zealander Luke Ronchi and Ashes winner Englishman Steven Finn.
Sam Billings is unable to visit Pakistan after he couldn’t get NOC to travel from his county team Kent. Alex Hales had also decided against travelling to Pakistan.
Former Australian cricketer and Islamabad coach Dean Jones will also be with the team.
Islamabad’s three local players Misbah-ul-Haq, Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Sami will join the rest of the squad directly in Karachi.
‘ALL ZALMI IN THE STADIUM’:
Peshawar’s squad – including foreign players Darren Sammy, Chris Jordan, Liam Dawson and Andre Fletcher – arrived in Karachi late Thursday night from Lahore, where they defeated Quetta Gladiators and Karachi Kings in eliminators.
Sammy requested the people of Karachi to express their support to his team by wearing the team’s colour – yellow – on the day of the match.
“My message is that I want to see this colour in the stadium,” Sammy said as he pointed towards the yellow colour. “All Zalmi, all Zalmi in the stadium.”
The Zalmi captain praised the team spirit and expressed the hope that the team would defend its title.
“We will defend the title…we want to win in Karachi,” Sammy said.
The team’s owner Javed Afridi, while talking to the media upon his arrival in the metropolis, said that the PSL journey for Zalmi had been ‘amazing’.
“Darren’s leadership is very important for us; the team has won the hearts of Pakistanis. I don’t have words on how Lahore supported us and all credit goes to Sammy for it,” Afridi said.
The final of the third edition of PSL will be played between the champions of first edition Islamabad United and the winner of the second edition Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi on Sunday.