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Cricket fans cheer before the start final cricket match of Pakistan Super League at National stadium in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, March 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) — Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

In pictures: Gladiators take home PSL 2019 trophy but Pakistani people stand the true winners

Cricket fans from across the nation bid farewell to the 2019 edition of the Pakistan Super League.
Updated Mar 18, 2019 04:23pm

In a spectacular, star-studded closing ceremony, cricket fans from across the nation bid farewell to the 2019 edition of the Pakistan Super League.

The stands were brimming with spectators, all of whom had bought their tickets weeks in advance.

All eight matches of the domestic Twenty20 league, including the final today, were held at the National Stadium in Karachi.

The entire city was transformed into a wondrous place of lights, festivity and togetherness over the course of these matches, all culminating in today's finale.

The Quetta Gladiators emerged victorious against Peshawar Zalmi, but in the truest sense of the word, the real victory was that of the people of Pakistan, who were given the gift of international cricket once more — only bigger and better than ever before.

Pakistani cricket fans arrive at the National Cricket Stadium. — AFP
Pakistani cricket fans arrive at the National Cricket Stadium. — AFP

Spectators cue up to enter the stadium. — AFP
Spectators cue up to enter the stadium. — AFP

Pakistani cricket fans pose for photographs before the start of the match. — AFP
Pakistani cricket fans pose for photographs before the start of the match. — AFP

Pakistan Army soldiers stand guard at a security check point before the start of the final. — AFP
Pakistan Army soldiers stand guard at a security check point before the start of the final. — AFP

Zalmi supporters pose for a photo. — APP
Zalmi supporters pose for a photo. — APP

Cricket fans hold a placard in support of the victims killed in the attacks to the Christchurch mosques in New Zealand. — AFP
Cricket fans hold a placard in support of the victims killed in the attacks to the Christchurch mosques in New Zealand. — AFP

Spanish former football player Carles Puyol holds a football during the closing ceremony. — AFP
Spanish former football player Carles Puyol holds a football during the closing ceremony. — AFP

Retired Barcelona soccer player Carles Puyol, center, participates in the closing ceremony. — AP
Retired Barcelona soccer player Carles Puyol, center, participates in the closing ceremony. — AP

Abrarul Haq belting out a live rendition of "Nach majajan". — PSL
Abrarul Haq belting out a live rendition of "Nach majajan". — PSL

An aerial view of the stadium and surrounding areas. — PSL
An aerial view of the stadium and surrounding areas. — PSL

Salman Ahmed of Junoon greeting the audience. — PSL
Salman Ahmed of Junoon greeting the audience. — PSL

Junoon singer Ali Azmat gave a high octane performance. — PSL
Junoon singer Ali Azmat gave a high octane performance. — PSL

Sufi rock band Junoon enthralled the audience with some of their popular tracks. — PSL
Sufi rock band Junoon enthralled the audience with some of their popular tracks. — PSL

The bails fly off the wicket resulting in the dismissal of Peshawar Zalmi batsman Kamran Akmal, right, during the final. — AP
The bails fly off the wicket resulting in the dismissal of Peshawar Zalmi batsman Kamran Akmal, right, during the final. — AP

Peshawar Zalmi batsman Sohaib Maqsood bats during the final. — AP
Peshawar Zalmi batsman Sohaib Maqsood bats during the final. — AP

Quetta Gladiators celebrate their victory. — AFP
Quetta Gladiators celebrate their victory. — AFP

President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi giving away the trophy to Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfraz Ahmad during prize distribution ceremony. — APP
President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi giving away the trophy to Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfraz Ahmad during prize distribution ceremony. — APP

The Gladiators pose with their glittering PSL trophy. — PSL
The Gladiators pose with their glittering PSL trophy. — PSL