The PSL Conundrum

The PSL Conundrum
Multan is a city located in the province of Punjab, Pakistan, known for its rich history and cultural heritage. The city is referred to as the "City of Saints" due to its many shrines and tombs of Sufi saints, making it a popular pilgrimage site for Muslims. Multan is also renowned for its agriculture and textiles and is an important center of trade and commerce in the region. Multan boasts a number of historic buildings and monuments, including the Tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam and Multan Fort, both of which are popular tourist attractions.

Multan, despite being a large city, lacks the wide streets found in other cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, or Faisalabad. This has led to severe traffic congestion and has made the city's road network one of the most congested in the country. Despite this, many people in Multan consider it a point of pride to disobey traffic laws, resulting in further chaos on the roads and contributing to the city's traffic problems. The narrow roads and disregard for traffic laws have made driving in Multan a challenging experience for both locals and visitors, and the city is in dire need of an effective solution to address these issues.

As if this wasn’t enough, the city is in for a tough time with the first leg of PSL, Pakistan Super Leage, 2023. The traffic is a matter of concern with the teams having to travel from the central Ramada Hotel to the Multan Cricket Ground on the outskirts of Vihari Road. And the author can attest to this, as he found himself stuck in a gridlock for three whole hours today. It's the common man who's bearing the brunt of the mass blockage imposed by the police. The latter look as exhausted as the former, with everyone blaming the police for the traffic mess. The situation is likely to persist for the next couple of weeks, making life a daily nightmare for Multan's citizens. And let's not forget the "state-level security" being provided to the guests, which only adds to the chaos.

It's a sad state of affairs when people's daily routines are disrupted, and they are unable to attend to their responsibilities. Be it missing work, trying to reach a hospital, or getting children to their academies, it's all being put on hold for the sake of a cricke. The irony is not lost, as the rights of the common man are being trampled upon for something as trivial as a cricket match. It's a stark reminder of what truly matters in this country, and it's certainly not the well-being of the people.

With the cricket stadium and player's hotel being miles apart, it has created a significant burden on the country’s meagre resources, as security measures are ramped up to ensure the safe transportation of players from one venue to the other. Meanwhile, the common citizen is left to suffer the consequences of these measures, with roads being closed and traffic snarled for hours on end.

It doesn't make sense to hold cricket matches in Multan while the citizens feel like hostages in their own city. The traffic restrictions, road closures, and security measures in place for the tournament have brought the city to a standstill, causing major disruptions to the daily lives of the people. Holding a tournament in such a manner, where half the city is effectively shut off, sends a message of disregard for the well-being of the citizens and leaves them feeling frustrated and ignored.

It makes much more sense to hold cricket matches in the larger cities that are better equipped to manage the heavy traffic that comes with hosting a tournament. The tickets for the PSL 2023 matches being held in Multan are quite expensive and with the stadium practically located outside of the city, it's highly unlikely that a significant number of Multanis would be interested in attending the matches. I hope I'm proven wrong, but I have a feeling that we'll see half-empty stadium in a lot of the matches. The high cost of tickets, coupled with the inconvenience of getting to the stadium, might serve as a barrier for many fans who would've otherwise attended the matches.

It's time for the authorities, including the PCB to re-evaluate their approach and consider the impact of their actions on the people. What good does all of this serve? Is this just a show of antics or is there any real substance to it? Is it really needed amidst the wave of terrorism and the threat of a default? The citizens are suffering, but who's paying attention?

Adnan Moiz tweets at @Nnormanbates