Former West Indies T20 skipper Darren Sammy, who led Peshawar Zalmi to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) title on Sunday, has insisted that playing the PSL final in Lahore felt like as if he is performing in his native place St. Lucia. Chasing a target of 149 runs, Mohammad Asghar scalped three wickets as Peshawar Zalmi bundled out Quetta Gladiators for 90 to clinch a 58-run victory in the finals of the second edition of the PSL at the Gaddaffi Stadum.
Admitting that he enjoyed playing the cricket match in Lahore, Sammy remained hopeful that hosting the match at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters could turn out to be a first step in revival of cricket in the country.
“I have enjoyed playing a cricket match [in Lahore] and I have even enjoyed being with the security guys as I have never seen something like this before so it was a good experience. It is hopefully a step in the right direction, where things could happen. What I can say is that being here felt like playing in St Lucia, playing in India or anywhere else in the world. And like I said at the toss, today I felt cricket was the winner,” ESPNcricnfo quoted Sammy as saying.
Sammy, who also led West Indies to two World Cup titles, revealed that his reason to travel to Lahore for PSL final despite the security threat was to “bring back the smiles” on the faces of the fans.
“To me it was more than just a game.It started with the draft. Lala [Afridi] made the big announcement that I would be the captain and one of our mottos was to bring back the smiles so I felt tonight I brought a lot of smiles in Lahore and Peshawar. It is an amazing day and this trophy means a lot,” he said. Sammy was one of the nine overseas player who agreed to travel to eastern city of Lahore as stringent security measures were put in place around the 25,000-capacity stadium.
“When you have not been in a place you always have your doubts.You get different views, different opinions. But I spoke to Javed [Afridi, the Peshawar team owner] and Shahid Afridi and they influenced my decision to come here. All the boys just made the decision that we are part of something that we are coming down here for a good cause. The fans here deserve to see their players playing as they haven’t seen it for quite a while. I am glad I came here,” he added.