Glitzy opening ceremony for third edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL-3) has concluded at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The icons from the showbiz industry of Pakistan including the great Abida Parveen, Ali Zafar and Shehzad Roy performed in the ceremony whereas the American singer, songwriter, and dancer Jason Derulo created an electric atmosphere at the Dubai stadium with his irresistible beats.
Film stars Hareem Farooq and Bilal Ashraf were the presenters for the night. Aside from the musical performances, the big night was also marked by an extensive display of fireworks and catchy display of art works.
The ceremony kicked off with national anthem of Pakistan. Later, Ali Zafar and Sufi music legend Abida Parveen enthralled the audience with their wonderful performances. The newly included franchise of Multan Sultans was introduced onset followed by Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and the reigning champions Peshawar Zalmi.
Chairman PCB Najam Sethi expressed his determination to bring all the matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL) to Pakistan in the next few years.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the third edition, Sethi said that PSL is growing and it will grow further in the years to come. “We are having three matches in Pakistan this year. Insha’Allah, very soon we will have the entire tournament being held in Pakistan in cities like Multan, Peshawar and Rawalpindi along with Lahore and Karachi,” said the chairman PCB.
He also emphasized on protecting the brand of PSL which has now become a source of providing and nourishing talent for Pakistan cricket. “This is not my PSL, this is not any individual’s PSL,” “We must not let PSL become a victim of politics. This is Pakistan’s brand, PSL belongs to every Pakistani and every Pakistani should stay united to protect this league,” Sethi further emphasized.
He highlighted the fact that people from all over the world have joined the bouquet of PSL to make this event a successful one. “We have over 100 people from different countries including cricketers, umpires, officials and other stakeholders working to make PSL bigger and bigger,”.
Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted that, he was looking forward to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the final of the tournament which will be played in Karachi.
The semi-finals of the tournament will be played in Lahore on March 20 and 21, while the final will be held at Karachi’s National Stadium on March 25th.
Apart from this, there was some action even before the opening ceremony. Peshawar Zalmi roped in TV comedy icon Kapil Sharma for an interactive session with the fans titled ‘Zalmi Night with Kapil Sharma’. The Peshawar Zalmi management arranged a laughter session for the players with Kapil too.
The famed comedian entertained the Zalmi players with his stock of jokes. His chitchat with cricketers Darren Sammy, Kamran Akmal, and Mohammad Hafeez was especially hilarious.
While addressing the skipper Sammy, Kapil asked: “Why do people call you Khan? “former West Indian captain replied that “It’s because of Afridi. And also, maybe, because I’m from Peshawar,”
The comedian also joked with Akmal and Hafeez about lifestyles in the subcontinent.“You are three brothers; [with] one cousin playing top-level cricket and you all have kids it means Pakistan doesn’t need any other family in cricket,” he teased, making everyone cheer for the Akmals.
Sanjay Kapoor spotted supporting Peshawar Zalmi at PSL 3 opening ceremony
Though Indian cricketers are not part of the third season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), but Bollywood actor Sanjay Kapoor travelled to watch the opening ceremony. Speaking to Media, Kapoor said he was “glad to be a part of the PSL 3”,
Sanjay, who is the brother of veteran actor Anil Kapoor, explained that he was in the city for his nephew’s wedding, which was held two days prior in Dubai.
He then chose to stay back for the faceoff between Peshawar Zalmi and Multan Sultans as his friend Javed Afridi, the owner of the Zalmi team, had extended a special invitation to him for this match. Plus, the festive atmosphere in Dubai convinced him to prolong his visit. Interestingly, both Sanjay and Afridi hail from Peshawar, where their ancestors resided. The actor mentioned that he likes watching cricket matches, regardless of which teams are playing.
The Bollywood star, therefore, was seen supporting Peshawar Zalmi, garbed in its colors and sporting the team’s cap as well. When asked about his favorite thing about Peshawar, he said it was the city’s name. Nevertheless, he seemed to be in a joyous mood. “Whether it is Pakistan or India, cricket is popular in both countries,” he said, adding that at present, his favorite player is Virat Kohli since he is the best cricketer.