The Pakistan Super League returned for its fifth season with a smashing opening ceremony in Karachi’s National Stadium!
A whopping 350 artists took the stage in an elaborate performance before the first match. Big names such as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Aima Baig, Ali Azmat and Fareed Ayaz are expected to grace the stage and the PSL 2020 Trophy will be unveiled by Pakistani squash icon, Jehangir Khan.
Fans are teeming with excitement as this is set to be the first installment of the PSL which will be held entirely in Pakistan. After four opening ceremonies held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in the UAE, Pakistani fans are rejoicing at the opportunity to celebrate the opening of the fifth season on their home turf.
Performances by a variety of local musicians and performers will be topped off by a fireworks show which will not only celebrate the return of PSL to TV screens but also the gradual return of cricket to Pakistan. The show can be expected to have a little something for everyone as the musicians who will be playing cover a range of genres including rock, pop and Sufi. Fans should keep an eye out for an intricate fireworks display and PSL 2020’s invigorating anthem, “Tayyar Hain” which will be played live to ring in the new season.
Following the show, Captain Shadab Khan of Islamabad United and Captain Sarfraz Ahmed of the Quetta Gladiators are set to face off in a highly anticipated opening match which will set the stage for the rest of the tournament. Fans can be especially excited to watch cricket superstars such as Shane Watson of Quetta, and Dale Steyn of Islamabad who will be among 36 foreign cricketers who will participate this season.
The match is expected to be a nail biter given that Quetta are reigning champions and Islamabad are the most successful team given their previous two PSL wins. Players to watch out for from Quetta are Mohammad Hasnain and Ahmed Shehzad whose respective wickets and runs won Quetta the PSL 2019 final against Peshawar. From Islamabad, fans can watch out for Shadab Khan and Asif Ali who were respectively the team’s top wicket taker and top run scorer from last season.
Despite Karachi’s National Stadium being neutral ground, the Quetta fans can expect to benefit from a home ground given widespread support for the team amongst the city’s residents. Out of the last five times the teams faced off, Quetta has won thrice. Two of those victories were from last season where Quetta dominated Islamabad and beat them by 7 wickets in one game and 43 runs in the other. Islamabad will be relying on new transfer, Colin Ingram who had smashed an awe inspiring century when Quetta faced off against the Karachi Kings last season.
The Ticket Wala team recommends leaving for the stadium early given Karachi rush hour traffic and strict security measures at National Stadium. Further, there is free seating within the stands so in order to get the best seats, spectators should plan to reach early. For those watching from home, lay down on the couch, turn on the tv and relax.
Performances at the opening ceremony on Thursday are expected to begin at 6:45 pm and the crucial coin toss to mark the beginning of the first match will be at 8:30 pm.