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COAS congratulates United, praises Karachi’s ‘excited’, ‘disciplined’ audience |

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) congratulated Islamabad United, the winning team of the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) third season, Sunday night on emerging as “the Champions”.

According to a Twitter post by Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), General Qamar Javed Bajwa praised Karachiites alongside the winning team for their excitement and discipline.

“Best of the day was excited yet very disciplined spectators of Karachi. Nothing can defeat our national passion,” the DG ISPR quoted Gen Bajwa as saying.

“‘Congrats to Islamabad United ‘the Champions’. Pakistan won today! Best of the day was excited yet very disciplined spectators of Karachi. Nothing can defeat our national passion’, COAS,” Maj Gen Ghafoor wrote.

Earlier, Maj Gen Ghafoor had noted how the “PSL Final brings more glitters to ‘City of Lights’”, and thanked all officials involved in the PCL as well as the security and audience.

“Thanks to PCB, foreign players, govt administration, security apparatus and the resilient Pakistanis.

The DG ISPR had also commented on how international cricket returning to Karachi after almost a decade meant the country was on its way to “peace and stability”.

“Terrorism imposed on us is on the way out; we are on the way to our rightful destination of enduring peace and stability, IA,” he had tweeted.

Pakistan returns to the fold

The PSL final — in which Islamabad United beat title-holders Peshawar Zalmi by three wickets — is seen as a major step towards reviving international cricket in Pakistan that had been suspended since the 2009 attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.

The first 31 matches of the PSL were again played in Dubai and Sharjah before the two play-offs in Lahore, highlighting the improvement in security situation in the country.

Karachi became the second major venue to host international matches after Lahore hosted five international matches against Zimbabwe in 2015, as well as the PSL final in March last year, three World XI matches in September, and another against Sri Lanka a month later.

Sunday’s final was watched by a packed crowd of 33,000, including prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, among other dignitaries.

The tournament will be followed by three Twenty20 international matches (T20Is) against West Indies, the reigning World T20 champions, on April 1, 2, and 3 — all scheduled in Karachi.

The last match Karachi hosted was a Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in February 2009.

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