The Pakistan army will handle security for the Pakistan Super League final in Lahore on Sunday (March 5). The provincial government too vowed to leave no stone unturned for the smooth conduct of the most high-profile cricket match in the country in recent times.
Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan prime minister, had promised players security normally reserved for heads of state with the team travelling in bullet-proof buses.
Quetta Gladiators, who became the first team to qualify for the final, however, announced that five of their foreign players have refused to travel to Lahore. Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright, Rilee Rossouw, Tymal Mills and Nathan McCullum returned to their respective countries on Wednesday.
The Punjab government said five-tier security would be in place for the teams as they made their way to the ground from the hotel and back.
“Both teams will be given ‘box security’, which means that only those person(s) authorised access to them will be allowed to meet them. The players will be under security rings 24 hours and arrangements will be made to block the route once the teams are on the move,” said a Punjab government spokesperson.
Spectators will be checked using walk-through gates, metal detectors and sniffer dogs before being allowed entry into the stadium at four different checkposts. The first will be guarded by the police and then by the army.
“No parking would be allowed within 400 yards of the venue and only team buses and security officials will take their vehicles in the ground,” added the spokesperson.
Shops adjoining the stadium and the hotel will remain shut from Friday to Sunday.