Voice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Wednesday, May 31, 2023

PSL Season 5 has just begun and Pakistan is buzzing with hope, happiness and excitement. For the first time the entire PSL is going to be held inside Pakistan and an array of international players are part of different PSL teams. Thanks to our security forces, agencies, rangers, police and army, security situation in the country has improved enormously. However, the real credit of bringing back international cricket is shared by the PCB officials like Mr. Najam Sethi and the current PCB setup headed by Waseem Khan. In a recent fiasco on Bangladesh tour of Pakistan, he stood firm while pushing BCB to a defensive and ensuring that the tour becomes a reality.
PSL is moving forward smoothly and Pakistanis are loving the atmosphere and enjoying every bit of the matches. Though i am sure there will be many bright spots regarding this year PSL, opening ceremony surely will not be one of them. PSL opening ceremony was as disappointing as this year PSL anthem to say the least. Though expectations were very high, opening ceremony failed to live upto the expectations. Fans initially expressed their disappointment, however, it soon vanished when the fever of matches took over. We have so far, saw few nail biters which has really grip cricket fans all over the cricketing world. However, a news broke on social media, later picked up by media that PCB outsourced opening ceremony to a company which hired Indian officials and entrepreneurs for PSL ceremony. As per the claims, 132 Indians were present in Pakistan to organize the event. Shubhra Bhardwaj was overall given the task to pull off the biggest national event’s opening ceremony, who is an Indian director and event planner. The news was followed by concern that there are possibilities that PSL opening ceremony was deliberately sabotaged. Soon Social media netizens and twitteratis blazing in anguish started trending #PCBjawabdo but PCB seems to just ignore the drama and pretend they’re too busy with the matches and are in no mood to answer the questions. PCB is being lambasted & trolled daily on the issue but there are no signs of investigation on the same. The netizens reminded PCB with India’s hostility towards Pakistani artists who are banned in India with their songs no more entertained in India and PCB was kind enough to welcome Indian organizers who destroyed our national event.
The claim of sabotaging may be a conspiracy which might have no ground or evidence but the news led us to few important questions. Why PCB can’t hired a local event planner or organizer, there are many reputable event planner in Pakistan who could have organized the opening ceremony. Keeping in view current situation in Kashmir and our relation with India on lowest ebb, should Indians be involved in such events in any capacity? How come 132 Indians were given a visa so smoothly, is the government aware of it? Did someone raise a flag on this? All these questions need to be answered by the officials and a thorough investigation must be done on how come the opening ceremony of our national event failed so miserably.
The botched opening ceremony with major organizational blunders surely should not go unnoticed and the officials need to be answerable to all the questions raised. Only an honest appraisal on the issue will help PCB learn from mistakes and come back stronger and better in the next season. Moreover the focus for now should be on executing all the matches with all the excitement it holds all over Pakistan and ends it on a high note with an excellent closing ceremony next month, while leaving these question for later.

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