The final of the 2017 Pakistan Super League will be held in Lahore, according to PSL chairman Najam Sethi, who made the announcement during the player draft in Dubai on Wednesday. The remaining matches in the tournament will be played in the UAE in February and March 2017 as scheduled.
ESPNcricinfo had reported in August that the PCB had asked the Punjab government to initiate a process to stage the match in Lahore, which will likely be played on March 9. The Punjab government has reportedly given the PCB permission to host the match and has alerted security agencies to take necessary measures.
"The second edition of the PSL, with five teams in the competition, will be more successful and the final will be held in Lahore," Sethi, who is also the head of the PCB executive committee, said. "International players know what we can do; most of them are ready to come to Pakistan and play. We have signed players with a condition that if their team reaches the final, they will have to go to Lahore and they have all agreed.
"It will be a fly-in, fly-out plan and the government has promised to give full security to the players. We are convinced that the final will happen in Lahore."
On Wednesday, 414 players were placed in the draft for the second edition. The five franchises signed on 17 new players between them, including former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and England's limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan. McCullum went to Lahore Qalandar, while Morgan was signed by Peshawar Zalmi.
Earlier this year, the PCB bought four bulletproof buses as part of its effort to provide the "best possible arrangements" in terms of security for players visiting the country. The PCB relies heavily on the government for security arrangements for visiting teams and the bulletproof buses, first proposed during the chairmanship of Zaka Ashraf in 2012 and sanctioned last year, were bought as an additional safety measure for teams travelling within the city.
Pakistan has been untenable as an international venue ever since terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009. Zimbabwe became the first Full-Member nation to visit Pakistan since that incident, but the ICC refused to send its match officials for the series in May 2015.
Pakistan then appointed their own match officials, and hoped the Zimbabwe series would serve as a stepping stone to revive international cricket in the country. That ambition, however, suffered a setback when a suicide attack took place near the Gaddafi Stadium during the second ODI. Zimbabwe played the third and final ODI two days later and completed the tour, but the PCB failed to convince any other side to visit the country since.