The third edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League kicked off at Dubai International Stadium on Thursday (February 22) night with an impressive and glittering opening ceremony exhibiting colours of all four provinces of the host country and entertaining music led by US rapper Jason Deralu minutes before the start of the opening match.
The opening ceremony started with the whole stadium in darkness even as spectators displayed the LED lights on their armbands. The national anthems of Pakistan was followed by fireworks after which the whole stadium lightened up.
PSL brand ambassador and singer of league’s anthem Ali Zafar descended on the standium in an amazing stunt, tied through strings in a ring from 50 metres much to the amazement of the vibrant crowd.
This year’s newest entry, Multan Sultans led the team march as the master of ceremony Ramiz Raja introduced the team. They were followed by Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, champions Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators.
Sufi music legend Abida Parveen, American pop star Jason Derulo, Pakistani heart-throbs Ali Zafar and Shehzad Roy, as well as movie stars Hareem Farooq and Bilal Ashraf are scheduled to take centre stage at the PSL opening ceremony.
“We are honoured to work with the PCB and help with a platform that could launch the careers of many young cricketers,” said HBL COO Sagheer Mufti, the title sponsors of the event for the first three years.
PSL chairman and Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi showed satisfaction over the start of the third league.
“A sixth member of the PSL family has joined us this year. Last year, 24 matches happened, this year there will be 34. By the grace of God this tournament’s final will take place in Karachi on March 25 and that is a great thing for Pakistan cricket.”
Once Sethi announced the start of the league, the stage was set ablaze by famous folk singer Abida Parveen singing the Sufi song much to the applause of the fans in the stands.
Performers danced to the tune of popular songs before Shahzad Roy and Ali Zafar perfromed. US rapper Jason Delaru was the last to entertain the crowd.