Dubai-based Innovative Production Group will take over the broadcast production of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final, set to take place in Lahore, after UK-based production house Sunset and Vine pulled out of the event due to its reluctance to travel to Lahore, ESPNcricinfo reported on Tuesday.
Sunset and Vine, which has handled the broadcasting of the PSL event so far this year, notified Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) management in the previous week about its intentions of not covering the Lahore event. The PCB had already decided on Innovative Production Group in case Sunset and Vine showed reluctance on broadcasting the final in Lahore.
Firms that were hired to facilitate hawk-eye technology and spider-cam have also decided to not partake in the event. The final will be broadcast without the use of such technology with there being a strong likelihood of a drone camera being used instead of the spider-cam.
Additionally, PSL is in the midst of replacing foreign commentators — including Danny Morrison, Alan Wilkins and Mel Jones — who have backed out from covering the final, while Ian Bishop’s contract is coming to an end. The PSL management has also instructed all the teams to work on their own contingency plan in a scenario wherein their foreign players decide not to travel to Pakistan.
Quetta Gladiators foreign players had already decided not to play in Lahore. Kevin Peterson, fellow Englishmen Luke Wright and Tymal Mills and former New Zealand offspinner Nathan McCullum have opted out of the final. However, South African batsman Rilee Rossouw may still travel to Lahore. Additional payments of US$10,000 to 50,000 are being offered to the overseas players if they agree to play the final in Lahore.
PCB Chairman Najam Sethi has assured the presence of foreign players in the final, noting that there is a backup list of players for a worst-case scenario. Punjab (in Pakistan) government on Monday gave the go-ahead for the final to take place in Lahore following thorough consideration and evaluation of security conditions in the country following a series of bomb blasts in the preceding weeks.
As part of the preparations for the final, Gaddafi Stadium has been furnished with a media facility that can house up to 150 reporters.