'Itna Kashmir kiya ke Karachi bhool gaye', Gambhir shares video of security arrangement for Pak vs SL 2nd ODI
After as many as 10 Sri Lankan players opted out of the Pakistan tour, a B-side was named by the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for the series. Amid the security concern that was cited by the Lankans, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to give the visitors Presidential level security for the 3-match ODI and 3-match T20I series. The tight security has seen apparent 'curfew-like' situation in Karachi where all the three ODIs have been scheduled to take place. Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir shared a video of the same on his Twitter account which seems to have been recorded by a Pakistan citizen.
“Itna Kashmir kiya ke Karachi bhool gaye,” tweeted Gambhir as he shared the video where two people seem to be mocking the level of security that has been deployed for the Sri Lanka series. Over 20 vehicles were deployed for the Sri Lankan team as they were heading to the National Stadium in Karachi for the second ODI on Monday.
On the matchdays, team buses can be spotted heavily being surrounded by armed security personnel on their way to the stadium from the team hotels. Not just that, the main roads leading from hotel to the stadium were also designated only for the team busses and were blocked from normal traffic. A strict security arrangement also saw armed personnel keeping a close eye on the spectators going in and out of the stadium.
Here's the video shared by Gambhir:
Itna Kashmir kiya ke Karachi bhool gaye pic.twitter.com/TRqqe0s7qd— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) September 30, 2019
Major cricketing nations have avoided travelling to Pakistan ever since the attack on Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore during the 2009 series that saw as many as eight people lose their lives while several were left injured. Many of the first team players from Sri Lanka opted out of the tour due to security concerns although PCB received the all-clear from the defence ministry to go ahead with the tour.
Sri Lanka Cricket team entering the Karachi Cricket ground for the #PakvsSL clash. pic.twitter.com/pU53cx0CWu— Azzam Ameen (@AzzamAmeen) September 30, 2019
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani was also hopeful that a successful conclusion to the series would mark the victory of cricket over terrorism, paving way for more international teams to play cricket in Pakistan.
“It’s so important that the game wins over any threats and terrorism,” Mani had said on Monday. “The main thing is that the security and safety of the players cannot be compromised so it was important that the Sri Lankan board was comfortable.”
The third and final ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be played at the same stadium on Wednesday.