The matches for PSL 2019 began from the 9th of March in Pakistan’s biggest and busiest metropolis. Karachites are all set to welcome the teams with cheers and smiles. Unfortunately, that’s not all it takes to bring several internationally big names to play cricket in a country that has just seen a revival of the sport in recent years. As such, security protocols need to be in place and several routes need to be diverted in order to ensure safety and security not just for our international and national stars, but also for all the fans who will be flocking to the National Stadium to watch their favourite teams battling it out on the pitch during PSL 4 in Karachi.
As a resident of Karachi, whether you’re going about your daily business or whether you’re heading towards the stadium, you need to know exactly which route to take to avoid massive traffic jams and delays. We’ll discuss all the route changes and security measures that are in place for the PSL 4 matches, but first, let’s find out a little about the history of PSL and which teams are leading the ranks as of now in 2019’s PSL points’ table.
History of PSL
The PSL or Pakistan Super League began at the end of 2015, with one season being held each year in February to March since 2016. The league is a single entity, rather than being an association of independently owned teams, with separate investors owning each of the teams. There are a total of 6 teams, namely, Karachi Kings, Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi, Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators. While Islamabad United has won both the 1st and the 3rd seasons of PSL, Peshawar Zalmi dominated PSL 2 back in 2017.
Points Table for PSL 4
PSL matches are played in a manner that each team plays each of its rivals twice, accumulating points along the way based on their wins and performance. The four teams with the most points end up in the playoff games. The Qualifier is then played between the top two teams, while the 1st Eliminator is played between the teams on 3rd and 4th positions.
The winner of the Qualifier gets a direct entry into the Final, while the losing team gets a second chance at playing in the PSL Final by playing the 2nd Eliminator against the winner of Eliminator 1. Whichever team wins Eliminator 2 faces off against the winner of the Qualifier in the Final.
Keeping this in mind, let’s look at the PSL points’ table, based on how it stands, as of now, before the matches begin in Karachi.
The table shows us how Quetta Gladiators is leading the pack with Multan Sultans being out of the playoff games for this season. However, Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars still have a chance at reaching the playoffs as both the teams have two matches each to be played in Karachi.
Match Schedule for PSL 4 in Karachi
This brings us to the match schedule for the PSL games that will be played in Pakistan’s most populous city. Karachi is hosting all eight of the remaining matches in 2019’s PSL with the action beginning on the 9th of March.
As the above table shows, there are eight matches being held over a period of two weeks in the PSL schedule for Karachi.
Traffic Plan for PSL 4 in Karachi
To ensure that the security measures are foolproof and that the route changes are followed as smoothly as possible, Karachi Traffic Police has issued a traffic plan well in advance so that Karachites will know just where to turn in order to head home on time to watch the match.
Karachi Traffic Police has designated five grounds close to the National Stadium as parking areas for those fans who are coming to watch the match live. The first parking area at Dalmia is at Gharib Nawaz Football Ground, while the other four parking areas on University Road are at the Expo Centre, Hakim Saeed Ground, Federal Urdu University Ground and Sunday Bazaar Ground.
The designated parking areas are marked in red on the map above. All the cricket fans who wish to avail these parking spaces must show their original tickets and CNICs before being allowed to park their vehicles.
Shuttle services will operate from each of the parking areas, bringing people to the stadium for the game. The same 500 shuttles will be used to take fans back to their parking areas after the match is over. The shuttle service will be operational from 2 pm to 4 pm for all the PSL matches in Karachi that are beginning at 7 pm. There is only one match that is being held during the day at 2 pm on the 11th of March and shuttles for that will operate from 10 am to 11 am.
When to Arrive for the Game?
As stated by the traffic police personnel when the security plan for PSL was revealed, all cricket fans and spectators must be inside the stadium at least two hours before the match is scheduled to begin. The gates of the stadium will then be closed and no entries will be permitted. It is also important to note that spectators are not allowed to bring edibles for the matches from outside the stadium and every cricket fan should comply with this rule in order to make the entry process smoother for all.
Route Changes during PSL 4
Now that you know how and when to arrive at the stadium to cheer on your favourite team, it’s time to determine which route to actually take to get around the city. Well, as most Karachites already know, M. A. Jinnah Road has been closed for roadworks due to the Green BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system since the past few months. Shaheed-e-Millat Expressway also joined it recently by being closed for roadworks, from its intersection at Haider Ali Road near Hill Park, to its intersection at Khalid Bin Walid Road.
This means that two of the major thoroughfares of the city are closed and off our list when we talk about commuting during PSL 2019. What routes does this leave us with? Let’s find out.
As per the traffic plan issued by the authorities, Karsaz Road will be closed during the PSL matches from where it intersects Shahrah-e-Faisal to Hassan Square. The road will also be closed from Agha Khan Hospital’s gate number 3 on National Stadium Road, up to where it reaches Millennium Mall at the intersection of Rashid Minhas Road. Moreover, all roads leading to the residential societies built behind the stadium will also be closed for traffic.
As such, we’re left with Shahrah-e-Faisal, Khalid Bin Walid Road, University Road and Rashid Minhas Road to commute within the city. Please note that Shahrah-e-Faisal may also face a temporary closure while the teams are travelling from their hotels to the stadium and back. Traffic diversion during PSL, for the roads closest to the stadium, will begin at least 3 hours before each match is scheduled.
Security Measures for PSL 4
Some of the security measures taken for PSL 4 in Karachi are:
- Residents living behind the National Stadium will be allowed to enter the area only after showing the original CNICs to the authorities.
- No heavy traffic will be allowed on University Road. All such vehicles will be diverted from Liaquatabad and Jail Chowrangi.
- It was also disclosed by the traffic police personnel that 5-layered security would be in place during the matches with 50 SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police), 250 commandos and 700 lady police officials on duty.
- There will also be 4 security checkpoints with CCTV cameras operational.
- The security camera control rooms will also be functional during the games.
With all these security measures in place, it is to be expected that the stands will be full as people come to the stadium to support their teams. Wear your team jerseys and paint your faces as PSL 4’s matches in Karachi are just around the corner!
*Logos for Cover Image Collage Sourced From Official Websites of Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars as well as Offical Facebook Pages of Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators.