Instep Today

Throwback: PSL cricketainment!

Instep Today
By Instep Desk
Mon, 02, 18

Nothing gets the nation’s heart beating as fast as cricket does; multiply that several times over when you give it cricket, amplified by a heavy dose of celebrity. That’s Pakistan Super League (PSL) in a nutshell: while global cricket stars got the pitch rolling for cricket, supporting stars in the galleries gave celeb-starved fans more value for their money.

PSL 2018 song

As the countdown to PSL 2018 begins, Instep recaps key moments that made the last two years so special.

Nothing gets the nation’s heart beating as fast as cricket does; multiply that several times over when you give it cricket, amplified by a heavy dose of celebrity. That’s Pakistan Super League (PSL) in a nutshell: while global cricket stars got the pitch rolling for cricket, supporting stars in the galleries gave celeb-starved fans more value for their money.

As the countdown to PSL 2018 begins, Instep recaps key moments that made the last two years so special.

PSL 2016

Dubai hosted the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League on February 4, 2016 and while Pakistani cricket got its overdue dose of international visibility, it was no less a moment for Pakistan celebrities to shine.

Bilal Ashraf and Mehwish Hayat

 Ali Zafar wrote and composed the PSL official anthem, ‘Khel Ke Dikha’ and rocked the stadium at the opening ceremony, where he performed with rap-reggae artist Sean Paul. This was the year Fawad Khan was promoting Kapoor & Sons in Bollywood and we remember talking to him about his role in the film. Fawad was supporting Islamabad United whereas Adnan Siddiqui and Faysal Qureshi came for Karachi Kings and Hamza Ali Abbasi and Humaima Malick for Peshawer Zalmi. Needless to say, the brand ambassadors were as big a pull as were the teams.

A good opportunity for promotions, Sanam Saeed and Mohib Mirza made the trip to promote their film, Bachana.

The closing ceremony of PSL 2016 was also held in Dubai. The final match was played between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United, where the latter, headed by captain Misbah-ul-Haq, upended all assumptions and were crowned the first champions of the T20 league. Amidst the rekindled beauty of the game were a number of celebs adding to the entertainment factor. Bollywood actress Chitrangada Singh was spotted having a good time at the final match. The actress came with Ali Zafar and was seen rooting for Islamabad United.

Fawad Khan

PSL 2017

The HBL PSL 2017 kicked off in Dubai on February 9 and the ceremony was attended by some of the biggest names of Pakistan’s entertainment industry, who had flown in to support their respective teams. Fahad Mustafa hosted the opening ceremony and Jamaican singer Shaggy took the stage, which later saw Shehzad Roy and Ali Zafar belting out their PSL anthems as well as other classic hits.

While Ali Zafar shook the stadium with his powerful performance as he took the stage and danced to ‘Ab Khel Jamay Ga,’ the official PSL anthem for 2017. Also, Momina Mustehsan who supported Islamabad United sung the official anthem for the team ‘Cricket Joray Pakistan’. While the song didn’t sound like much on TV, when played in the stadium it did take on a life of its own!

Shaan flew over to support Lahore Qalandars, also supported by brand ambassadors Mehwish Hayat and Bilal Ashraf. Fawad Khan was present to support team Islamabad United at the PSL opening and he was the man of the moment as excited fans (including the Qatar Airways crew) were lined up for photographs.

Held in Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore last year, PSL’s finale took place on March 5. The closing ceremony was just as star-studded as one would have hoped it to be. Actors Ahmed Ali Butt and Ayesha Omer hosted the evening alongside Ali Zafar; Ali Azmat performed his rendition of the popular Sufi song ‘Dam a Dam Mast Qalandar’ in front of a full house of around 30,000 spectators.

Farhad Humayun of Overload delivered an energetic performance, while Faakhir entertained the audience with his classic hit number ‘Tere Bina Dil Na Lage.’

The HBL PSL 2017 final was held between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi, with the latter winning the bejeweled Swarovski trophy.

PSL 2018

Pakistan Super League is all set to score a third consecutive success as it is scheduled to begin on February 22 in Dubai, with a match between Peshawar Zalmi and the Multan Sultans. All PSL 2018 matches will be played at four venues – Dubai, Sharjah, Lahore, and Karachi as announced by the PCB. The two Eliminators between the semi finalists will be played in Lahore whereas the PSL final will be played in Karachi on March 25.

This year’s celebrity quotient is still being confirmed but we do have ‘Dil Sey Jaan Laga Dey,’ the official PSL anthem by Ali Zafar playing on a loop along with Shahzad Roy’s HBL song, ‘Lo Phir Sey Miley’. An international artist is being roped in for the opening ceremony but we’ll be able to confirm that closer to the time.

We do expect to see our supporting celebrities at the opening ceremony in Dubai…watch this space for updates!