PSL final tickets precious for fans

ISLAMABAD (AP) " Cricket-starved fans in Pakistan aren't too worried about which foreign players are coming to Lahore for Sunday's Pakistan Super League final. They just want to know where they can buy tickets.

"I came to the bank as early as 6:30 a.m. and after seven hours I got hold of a ($5) ticket," Ali Hussain, a 22-year-old businessman told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

PSL organizers claimed that 10,000 tickets at the 27,000-capacity Gaddafi Stadium will be sold for $5 for the final. The remaining tickets were priced at $38, $76 and $114.

However, hundreds of fans around the city of Lahore on Wednesday went from bank to bank looking for tickets.

"We went to at least five branches but couldn't find even one ticket," said Faiza Tasleem, a university student.

Tasleem was accompanied by her nine university friends, but none of them was successful in getting a ticket. The organizers have also made it mandatory for every buyer to produce his or her original National Identity Card at the time of buying a ticket.

As a security precaution, entry to the stadium will only be made once the spectator shows his or her ID at various security checkpoints on Sunday.

"We are not going to get disheartened, there are still three days to go and we hope to get the ticket for the Sunday's final," said Tasleem, whose favorite team Quetta Gladiators qualified for the final.

But Quetta will be without all its key foreign cricketers after Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright and Tymal Mills all flew back to England soon after winning their playoff against Peshawar Zalmi by one run on Tuesday night.

"It's with a heavy heart I will not be coming to Lahore. I have a young family and for me a game of cricket is just not worth the risk," Wright tweeted. "I'm sorry as I know how much it means to you all and hopefully in the future the safety will not be in doubt to come play there."

But for Pakistani fans it mattered little who is coming for the final or not.

"Whosoever plays for Quetta we will support them," Tasleem said. "We want to show the world that we are sports-loving people and we want cricket back home on our own grounds."

Peshawar will have another chance at the Sunday's final when it meets the winner of Thursday's match between Karachi Kings and defending champion Islamabad United.

PSL organizers have shortlisted 60 foreign players who have agreed to travel to Lahore. The two finalists could pick up four players each for Sunday's final.

The provincial government has promised security for the Sunday's final despite a recent wave of terrorist attacks that killed dozens of people around the country. At least 13 people were killed in Lahore when a bomber targeted police escorting a rally by pharmacists.

Several former cricketers like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Aamir Sohail have criticized PCB's decision to organize the PSL final in Lahore with thousands of security officials being deployed around the stadium.

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K. M. Chaudary reported from Lahore.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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