Pakistan’s historic moment came on Thursday as their first-ever Twenty20 league, the Pakistan Super League, opened in an impressive ceremony at the picturesque Dubai stadium.
Twice postponed in 2013 and 2014, the league finally kicked off as players from all five team entered the ground after Sheikh Nahyan Al Mubarak A Nahyan, minister for Youth in UAE, declared the league open. The stadium was in pitch dark with lights in green Pakistan colours started to flash from the 26,000 seats in the stadium.
— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) February 4, 2016
All five captains — Misbah-ul-Haq of Islamabad United, Shahid Afridi of Peshawar Zalmi, Sarfraz Ahmed of Quetta Gladiators, Azhar Ali of Lahore Qalandars and Shoaib Malik of Karachi Kings took oath on behalf of the players as the 16,000 crowd cheered.
The Karachi Kings team was led out of the team bus by ARY chief executive Salman iqbal.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan stressed on the importance of the league. “We have finally reached where we aimed for,” said Khan. “The first-ever PSL is here to stay and we hope that all the targets from this league will be achieved.”
PSL chairman Najam Sethi paid gratitude to all those who made the PSL a reality.
Jamaican rock star Sean Paul performed live and all the Caribbean flavor was further spiced up by his Jamaican countryman Chris Gayle who along with other West Indians Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo danced on the stage.
Local dance and fire works followed before the national heartthrob Ali Zafar sang his famous songs. The ceremony culminated in an impressive and colourful fire works.
The opening match was between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators.