Music, festivities and fireworks aplenty at PSL 2018 opening ceremony in Dubai

Published February 22, 2018
PSL 2018 teams arrive
 in the ground during the opening ceremony.
 — Photo by Adil Mulki
PSL 2018 teams arrive in the ground during the opening ceremony. — Photo by Adil Mulki

The 2018 Pakistan Super League (PSL) kicked off on Thursday with a glitzy opening ceremony at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Following a countdown to the big launch, the event officially began with Sachal Orchestra playing the national anthem of Pakistan.

Moments later, Ali Zafar took the centre stage and entertained the crowd with a special PSL rendition of his famous track, Rockstar.

Hareem Fatima and Bilal Ashraf spoke briefly but soon made way for master presenter Ramiz Raja, who introduced the league's expansion franchise: the Multan Sultans.

The Sultans were followed by Islamabad United and the Karachi Kings. The Lahore Qalandars and reigning champions Peshawar Zalmi didn't take long in joining their rivals in the middle.

The tradition in sports is for the champions to be introduced last but the organisers, for some reason, reserved that honour for the two-time finalists: the Quetta Gladiators.

'PSL is a national asset'

PCB Chairman Najam Sethi also addressed the crowd, saying: "A sixth member of the PSL family has joined us this year. Last year, 24 matches happened, this year there will be 34. The PSL is a national asset and we need to safeguard it."

"We are honoured to work with the PCB and help with a platform that could launch the careers of many young cricketers," added HBL COO Sagheer Mufti.

Performers take the stage

The first performer of the night was the legendary Sufi singer Abida Parween.

Once her set was over it was pop star Shehzad Roy's turn to entertain the audience.

Hareem and Bilal then introduced US pop star Jason Derulo, which drew loud cheers from the crowd.

The American crooner started off with a lesser known number before lip-syncing to his famous track Swalla, which has over a billion views on YouTube.

Last but definitely not the least on the list was Ali Zafar again, who presented his official PSL anthem: Dil Se Jaan Laga De (Put your heart in it).

Fireworks around the stadium marked the end of the PSL 2018 opening ceremony, which meant the stage was set for the teams and cricketers to take over.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had invited a glut of Pakistani and international superstars to perform at the event.

Explore: PSL 2018 predictions: Sports journos put their clairvoyant caps on for the T20 spectacle

PSL's inception and what it means to Pakistan

Launched in 2016 after years of deliberation, the PSL is an annual T20 league which sees six city-based franchises fight amongst each other for the title.

While there exist several such leagues in the world of cricket, the PSL is arguably unique in the sense that none of its rivals mean as much to their respective countries as the PSL does to Pakistan.

This is due to the PCB's almost decade-long inability to hold a home series at home — a predicament that the PSL seems to be helping remedy bit by bit each year.

Opinion

Editorial

Updated 16 May, 2022

Electoral reforms

EARLY elections or not? That is the question. And it seems to be weighing heavy on the mind of everyone in the...
16 May, 2022

Iran deal revival

WHERE the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 is concerned, a great deal of fluidity exists regarding its fate....
16 May, 2022

Deprived of funds

THIS May, Pakistan’s former Fata region will complete its fourth year of merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The...
Imran’s lesson
Updated 15 May, 2022

Imran’s lesson

Patronage of the security and intelligence apparatus exacts a heavy price and almost never delivers any long-term dividends.
15 May, 2022

Small mercies

AT a time when Pakistan is getting closer to the brink with its foreign currency reserves dropping to just around...
15 May, 2022

Child sexual abuse

IT is interesting that despite the strictures of society and political leaders on community evils, there is little...