A male fan in his mid-teens entered the premises of the team's green room and encountered some of the players of Peshawar Zalmi    AFP
A male fan in his mid-teens entered the premises of the team’s green room and encountered some of the players of Peshawar Zalmi AFP

Last week, a young fan made his way through the dressing room of Peshwar Zalmi for brief seconds before the start of the match, at Gaddafi Stadium. The news comes after a male fan in his mid-teens entered the premises of the team’s green room and encountered some of the players, disclosing the level of security in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which was otherwise thought to be a well executed one. England batsman Dawid Malan revealed that the fan, dressed in a “green Pakistan suit” with the Pakistan flag painted on his face, requested for selfies, which is when Malan pointed him out to the security guard and he was then immediately escorted.

“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. 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,” Malan added, who was one of the foreign players to have to travelled to Lahore for the PSL final.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Head of PSL security and senior general manager vigilance of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Colonel (retd) Mohammad Azam Khan said that the fan had gained access through the patron’s enclosure, which is adjacent to the dressing rooms. The fan rushed to get autographs from the players when he was pushed along with the team into the dressing room.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) had deployed security advisors on the venue to evaluate the situation and work with the PCB, before the final.

The amount of security for the day was almost unparalleled as over 10,000 security personnel were deployed for the match, including Punjab police, along with Rangers, Pakistan’s paramilitary force. The area around Nishtar Park was sealed with huge metal gates, and spectators could enter the stadium only through a three tier security checks, some of which took place at a two-kilometre protective perimeter around the venue. Public vehicles were not allowed within a kilometre of the sports complex, which was set up with scanners, high-definition facial-recognition CCTV systems and police control centres.

High-level artillery and bomb-proof buses, accompanied with snipers at high vantage points, including the roof of the Gaddafi Stadium, were also at the venue. The final match was held without any disturbance, with Peshawar winning over Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs. After the post-match presentation, the players had around 20 minutes to change before they were taken to Lahore airport.

Malan also admitted his concern at the fans following the players at the hotel as they made their way onto the bus. “It is definitely something that can be improved in the future,” said Malan. “I think maybe they worried so much about the overall security that, maybe, 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,” Malan concluded.