Peshawar Zalmi batsman Dawid Malan on Saturday revealed a glitch in the security of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final which was staged in Lahore on March 5.
According to Malan, a young teenaged fan was able to enter the team’s dressing room before the final between Peshawar and Quetta Gladiators.
“It was concerning that, with all the checks, he was able to get in so easily,” Malan was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “He kind of got in at a time when all the players were walking in and he somehow managed to get in as well.”
Malan further shed light on the incident which saw the kid, dressed in “green Pakistan suit” with a flag painted on his face, being taken out of the dressing room.
“We had just arrived at the ground and our cricket bags were being checked, so we just got to our seats in the changing room,” he further said. “I put my clothes bag down and walked around and there was this kid asking for selfies. I looked at the security guard in the room and asked him, ‘Sorry — who’s this guy?’ Suddenly, they all clicked into gear and he ended up being pushed out the gate.”
According to ESPNcricinfo, when head of PSL security and senior general manager vigilance of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Colonel (retd) Mohammad Azam Khan was contacted about the issue, he said: “The fan had come from the Patron’s Enclosure. The enclosure is adjacent to the dressing rooms and in the fans’ rush to get autographs from the players as they were entering the dressing-room area, he was herded along with the players into the change room. He added that “the fan was removed from the room as soon as this was discovered”.
The landmark PSL final had an otherwise exceptional security setup from the day it was decided that the event will take place in Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Nearly 10,000 security personnel from Punjab police and Rangers were deployed to ensure a safe and secure environment for the final to take place. All spectators had to go through three layers of security before entering the stadiums.
The final took place without any untoward incident as Peshawar lifted ‘The Spirit Trophy’ in front a full-house crowd after beating Quetta by 58 runs.
Meanwhile, Malan wasn’t comfortable with the fans proximity while the players made their way onto the bus to travel to the stadium. However, he believed that things would surely improve in the future since PCB is investing so heavily on security.
“It is definitely something that can be improved upon in the future,” said Malan. “I think maybe they worried so much about the overall security that they didn’t focus too much on the smaller things. I think, in the future, if you wanted international teams to tour there, all those little things need to be taken into account as well.”