PSL excitement: Lahore ready to welcome international cricketers again

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The PSL matches are shifted to Pakistan. The city of Lahore is hosting two ‘elimination’ matches that a would be played at Qaddafi Stadium. (AN photo)
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A cricket fan buying a T-Shirt having logo of his favorite team from a make shift stall at a Lahore road. (AN photo)
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Proud ‘successful’ buyers showing their tickets bought to watch PSL match. (AN photo)
Updated 19 March 2018
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PSL excitement: Lahore ready to welcome international cricketers again

LAHORE: Punjab’s provincial capital will welcome international cricket players arriving here on Monday to play Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches.
According to the tournament schedule, two “eliminators” will be played in Lahore before the final showdown takes place in Karachi on March 25.
Pakistani players in Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi arrived in the city on Sunday while the remaining cricketers get here on Monday.
According to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the commencement of matches in Lahore and Karachi is a positive sign as it will help bring back international cricket to the country.
“We are gradually moving forward,” PCB’s media manager, Raza Rashid, told Arab News. “Last year, we could only organize one match in Pakistan. However, three matches will be played here this year. This is a good sign for cricket in the country.”
People are also quite excited about the play-offs in Lahore. Many of them are anxious to welcome international players to their hometown.
“This is a delightful opportunity for the people of Pakistan to welcome some of the leading stars of international cricket. Even a small stride toward bringing cricket back to this country is extremely important,” Syed Sarim Raza, an IT expert, told Arab News.
Unlike in previous years, more international cricket players have consented to play in Pakistan this year. These include some of the leading cricketers, such as Luke Ronchi, Samit Patel, JP Duminy, Tymal Mills, Lendl Simmons and Ravi Bopara.
While Ahmad Kaleem, a resident of Lahore, is happy about the development, he wants to see these international cricketers moving in an open lorry, receiving greetings, listening to the cheerful voices of the youth, and waving back at them in return.
“I wish to see the international players moving freely on the streets of Lahore, as I saw many football players in Cardiff in Wales,” he said.
Despite such excitement in the city, young students are not happy with the PCB as they say the tickets for the two matches are quite expensive. Many of them said they wished the tickets were a little cheaper so they could have visited the stadium with their classmates.
“Pakistan is known for its hospitality and we will be welcoming all the foreign players with contagious warmth. Everything seems perfect, though PCB’s ticket issuance policy could have been better. Tickets should have been less costly and at least one or two enclosures should have had free entry for students,” Hira Rajput, a Punjab University student, said.
Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have made foolproof security arrangements for the matches. The authorities have decided to deploy 18,000 police personnel for the security of the stadium and adjacent areas.
The city’s entry and exit points have also been well guarded, and additional Rangers and Army personnel are also on call if required.
“The police have made necessary arrangements to secure the matches and international players,” Deputy Inspector General Operations, Haider Ashraf, told Arab News.


Sublime Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool to stunning 5-2 win over Roma

Updated 25 April 2018
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Sublime Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool to stunning 5-2 win over Roma

  • Liverpool move onto 38 goals for this season’s competition — 11 more than any other team
  • Salah is now on 43 goals for the season in all competitions

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah put his former side Roma to the sword on Tuesday night with a scintillating performance as the Reds ran riot at Anfield, taking a commading 5-2 lead into next week’s second leg in Rome.
The Italian side had no answer to the Egyptian superstar’s sublime skill as he scored two world-class goals and set up another two for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Firmino added the fifth as the Merseyside club romped into a 5-0 lead to put the English side within touching distance of the Champions League final.
Salah’s display was as exquisite as Roma’s defending was naive, with Liverpool scoring all of their goals in a breathtaking 33-minute spell either side of halftime amid a cauldron of noise at Anfield.
But two consolation goals in the final nine minutes from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti has given Roma hope of recreating their heroics from the previous leg against Barcelona.
In the latest virtuoso performance of his stunning first season at Liverpool, Salah curled a shot into the top corner in the 36th minute and doubled the lead in the 45th with a dinked finish that is fast becoming his trademark. He is now on 43 goals for the season in all competitions with potentially five games left.
The Egypt forward was not finished there, taking advantage of Roma’s high defensive line to provide crosses for Mane and Firmino to score almost identical goals in the 56th and 61st minutes, respectively.
Firmino glanced home a header from James Millner’s corner in the 69th to leave Roma’s players on the floor — literally in the case of their distressed goalkeeper, Alisson.
Liverpool moved onto 38 goals for this season’s competition — 11 more than any other team — but cannot begin preparing for the final in Kiev on May 26 quite yet.
Dzeko chested down a long pass to make it 5-1 in the 81st and when Milner handled a shot from Radja Nainggolan, Perotti converted the penalty in the 89th.
Bayern Munich play Real Madrid in the other semifinal, with the first leg in Germany on Wednesday.
Roma knows all about Salah, who scored 15 goals and set up 11 more in the second of his two seasons at the Italian club before joining Liverpool for 42 million euros (then $47 million) in June.
He’s obliterating those figures at Anfield this season. His double saw him surge past Cristiano Ronaldo’s 42 goals for Manchester United in the 2007-08 season, for example.
Salah won English soccer’s Player of the Year award on Sunday. At this rate, the Ballon D’Or could be his next year.