The international flavour for the opening ceremony of this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL) has gone through the roof with ‘Mr. Worldwide’ Pitbull set to headline the glitzy event. A star-studded lineup of the most high-profile performers in the industry are gearing up to set the stage on fire as the much-anticipated PSL 4 gets underway in the Dubai International Stadium on February 14.
The grand opening ceremony is predicted to surpass all previous PSL opening ceremonies, given the diverse group of internationally acclaimed artists set to enthral the crowd. The roster of performers includes music icon Pitbull, legendary Sufi rock band Junoon reuniting, Pakistan’s very own superstar and the singer of this year’s PSL anthem Fawad Khan alongside rapper Young Desi, Marcia Barnett of the disco group Boney M as well as Aima Baig and Shuja Haider.
One look at the mesmerizing lineup indicates the complete eclectic mix of genres that will satisfy the musical tastes of fans. Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan is a major highlight of the bewitching occasion as he has lent vocals for the official PSL anthem in the fourth edition, unlike the previous 3 seasons that saw Ali Zafar take centre stage. While Fawad’s funky take on the PSL song has received ambivalent reviews, his presence in front of a packed crowd in Dubai will light up the tournament in style.
The opening ceremony in store for HBL PSL 2019 dwarfs PSL 3’s kick-off event, which in its own right was a glamorous affair. Last year, the lineup comprised of American singer-songwriter Jason Derulo, legendary Sufi singer Abida Parveen, pop icon Ali Zafar and musician and human rights activist Shehzad Roy. The PSL 2018 ceremony was hosted by Hareem Farooq and Bilal Ashraf, while the guests were also entertained by an interactive session titled ‘Zalmi Night with Kapil Sharma’ featuring the popular Indian comedian.
If there were any reservations regarding the capabilities and efforts of the organizers to match such high standards, then that debate has been put to rest now.
Pakistan’s biggest T20 festival will spring to life on 14 February in the Dubai International Stadium fittingly labelled as the ‘Ring of Fire’. Tickets for the opening ceremony and the subsequent encounter between Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars have already gone up for sale online.
Defending champions Islamabad United do hold the edge over Lahore in the head-to-head record, triumphing in 4 of the 6 matches the two have played against each other but as the saying goes, ‘cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties.’ Moreover, Lahore has a completely new-look squad as compared to previous seasons and will be led by skipper Mohammad Hafeez, who is playing for another franchise instead of Peshawar Zalmi for the first time.
The Pakistan Super League has been a revelation for the uplift in the quality of Pakistan in recent years. Through its enriched platform, the PSL has been able to discover talented gems who otherwise would have waited years for their turn in the national side. The broader range of international players available for this year’s tournament sets it on a pedestal from the last 3 editions, since the arrival of AB de Villiers, Colin Munro and Carlos Brathwaite has adorned PSL 4. Meanwhile, as many of 8 matches will be conducted in Lahore and Karachi, proving to be critical in securing international cricket back home.
Like PSL 3, the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League will also feature six teams although Multan Sultans have experienced a change of ownership and have now been acquired by Ali Tareen, son of leading politician Jahangir Tareen.
In addition to the quality of on-field contests, the beauty of PSL is further enhanced by the presence of the top celebrities from Lollywood flying out to UAE in order to support their favourite teams. In the past, many famous actors have served as brand ambassadors for the PSL franchises including Hamza Ali Abbasi, Maya Ali, Mahira Khan, Humayun Saeed, Mehwish Hayat and Shaan Shahid. The list will only grow larger this year once all brand ambassadors are finalized.
The PSL opening ceremony will be one unforgettable night to be a part of. It is expected to begin on 8:00 pm UAE time and will be attended by the biggest and brightest stars of from the field of cricket and showbiz so that fans can get the maximum dose of the best of both worlds. The PSL is here to stay and its untainted legacy is at its peak currently with the entertainment this edition promises to deliver.