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LAHORE: The ninth edition of the HBL-PSL is all set to commence on Saturday (today), when two-time champions (2022 & 2023) Lahore Qalandars take on Islamabad United, also two-time champions (2016 & 2018), feature in the opening match at the Qadhafi Stadium in Lahore.

The PCB’s headquarters Gaddafi Stadium will host its first opening ceremony of the HBL-PSL. The ceremony will kick off at 630pm with an array of exciting performances from renowned artist Arif Lohar, Natasha Baig, pop band Noori and the singers of the HBL PSL 9 anthem song Ali Zafar and Aima Baig. Fans will also be treated to spectacular fireworks and a mesmerizing laser show.

The first ball of the opening match is expected to be bowled at 8pm. In the double-header, the afternoon match will begin at 2pm, while the first ball of the evening match will be bowled at 7pm. The matches taking place during Ramadan will begin at 9pm.

The HBL-PSL-9 will see four cities, Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi host 34 matches of the marquee event. Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium will host nine matches, which includes Lahore Qalandars playing five matches at their home turf. The picturesque Multan Cricket Stadium will host five matches – all Multan Sultans fixtures. Lahore and Multan will host the first leg of the league from 17 to 27 February before action moves to Karachi and Rawalpindi.

Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi will host nine matches from 2 to 10 March with Islamabad United featuring in five matches. Peshawar Zalmi will play four of their 10 matches in Rawalpindi, while Quetta Gladiators will play three matches at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Karachi’s National Bank Stadium will host 11 matches including the grand finale on 18 March. The home side Karachi Kings will play a minimum of five matches at the venue, while Quetta Gladiators will get to play at least three matches at the National Bank Stadium.

Shadab Khan, skipper of Islamabad United said, “I have been captain of Islamabad United for the last four seasons and I want to lift the trophy for my team this season. The additions of Imad Wasim and the Shah brothers are a huge boost for the franchise. Faheem Ashraf and Azam Khan are two vital cogs in our team. I want my team to stand tall in high-pressure games and get over the line. We have evaluated our mistakes from the last season and are looking forward to executing our plans aptly this time around.”

Shan Masood, Captain of Karachi Kings said, “To represent and lead my hometown team Karachi in the HBL-PSL is such a huge honor. It is a rebuilding process for Karachi Kings, where we are looking to build a core group of young players who can serve the franchise for the next five years. We have a great chance to do well given the last part of the tournament is set to take place in Karachi.”

Shaheen Shah Afridi, Captain, Lahore Qalandars said, “I am genuinely excited to be leading Lahore Qalandars for the third consecutive season in HBL-PSL and the hunt for a hat-trick of titles makes me eager to do well. We are eying a third HBL-PSL win this time and I can assure you that my team will show the same intensity as we have done in the past two seasons. Lahore Qalandars are proud of having a strong fan base and our games in Lahore are going to be jam-packed.”

Mohammad Rizwan, skipper of Multan Sultans said, “HBL-PSL is a world-class league and we are all proud to be a part of this league. Multan’s pacers and emerging players have dominated the previous two seasons and that is one of the reasons of Sultans doing well consistently. Multan crowds have given us a lot of love over the last two seasons and hopefully, they will again support us with the same enthusiasm this year.”

Babar Azam, skipper of Peshawar Zalmi said, “Peshawar Zalmi has been one of the most exciting sides in HBL PSL history and with our current squad we are well poised to emerge as champions in this season. Some of the players are highly talented and gifted in our bowling and batting departments which gives Zalmi an edge over other teams.”

Rilee Rossouw, Captain of Quetta Gladiators said, “The opportunity to lead a side in HBL-PSL doesn’t come around often and it is such an honor for me. My expectation this season is to obviously win the HBL-PSL-9. As a side, we will try to make it a high-performance arena. I think conditions in Karachi and Lahore will suit Quetta Gladiators and that is where we will look to bag the most points.” HBL-PSL will be broadcast live on A Sports, as Pakistan’s first HD sports channel continues its association with the marquee event. The matches will also be covered live on Ten Sports in Pakistan. TransGroup FZE, after winning the broadcast and live-streaming rights for all regions outside Pakistan, has sub-licensed to different channels to broadcast the matches. A total of 30 high-definition cameras, including the buggy cam will stream high-quality action to HBL PSL fans around the world. Spidercam will not only bring dynamic angles to TV audiences but it has also been upgraded with a microphone and speaker enhancement for conducting on-field player interviews during the matches.

DRS technology will also be available throughout HBL-PSL while drone cameras will be used to add to the quality of streaming.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Dr Suhail Feb 17, 2024 12:19pm
While Rome was crumbling, Romans thronged coliseums to forget their miseries. Thank you psl.
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HASSAN ILYAS Feb 17, 2024 04:02pm
lahore won islamabad lose
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