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A botched opening

There was immense jubilation as the Pakistan Super League – which has become a brand name itself – returned to Pakistan. A glitzy opening ceremony was held in Karachi but the event been mired in controversy over mismanagement and organising blunders.
The cricket league touted as the best thing that has happened to Pakistan cricket, but hosting all 34 matches across four cities has certainly created huge logistical and security issues. Law-enforcement agencies are on their edge for the entire month to prevent any untoward incident.
Although the situation seems fine outside, the incidents inside the ground have created disturbances. Fans were disappointed over the botched ceremony and unleashed their anger on host Ahmed Godil who has received rebuke and has been mercilessly harassed on social media. Things went extreme when he claimed that his personal information was leaked online and he was receiving threats.
Singer Ali Azmat has lashed at the PCB for the disorganised show and mismanaged events. He was dismayed that their performance of the PSL’s official anthem was cut down due to time constraints. Many artists complained being unaware when they would perform and some even left the ceremony in angst. He claimed that the ceremony was planned for TV audiences and there was chaos in th e stadium.
Some spectators could not even witness the ceremony as the view of some enclosures was blocked due to the setup. It was pointed out that PCB hired an Indian organiser for the ceremony. A rehearsal was held just two days prior leading to unsynchronised sequences, the stadium was dark with poor sound quality, and unnecessary long intervals between performances dampened the mood at the ceremony.
As if the organising blunders were not enough, the tournament was brought to further disrepute as Umar Akmal was suspended on the eve of the event. The cricketer has constantly been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons from failing fitness tests to disciplinary issues in the locker room. He has just avoided action after disrespecting a fitness instructor but has been embroiled in controversy again. The suspension over violating the anti-corruption code of conduct could spell the end of his career.
Although the PSL has opened to botched start, let’s hope that there are no further controversies either on or outside the ground. The successful hosting of the event would be a great achievement for Pakistan, and the lessons learned would help in future events. The PSL has been a roaring success and we have to make it grow in years to come.
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