Pakistan Super League, the annual Twenty20 cricket competition featuring emerging and established Pakistani players along with several international ones, is all set to return with its third edition later this month.
More to the point, the upcoming edition will continue as a platform where the best of cricket meets the best of entertainment.
Though we have seen some international cricketers playing in Pakistan (in the 2017 World XI tour of Pakistan as well as the coming of Zimbabwean cricket team), by and large Pakistan continues to play international cricket overseas on grounds of security issues. It is for this reason that PSL is so important because it brings us hope that we are inching towards a time when matches can be held in the country in peaceful fashion. And this year the PSL final is scheduled to take place in Karachi, a city that hasn’t seen international cricket since 2009.
Apart from the presence of several celebrities, as has been witnessed in the last two editions, this year’s PSL will be marked by an opening ceremony that will feature a glorious display of fireworks and several worthwhile performances.
One of those performers will be the iconic Abida Parveen as PCB confirmed in a recent statement saying: “The internationally acclaimed Sufi singer will perform a Sufi act which will include a Sufi medley of her best songs.”
Parveen is a living legend whose music is beyond borders and whose Sufi brand of music has universal appeal so this is an interesting call to make.
As for international contingent, this year American singer-songwriter and dancer Jason Derulo will be taking the stage after Shaggy’s performance last year and Sean Paul’s the year before.
Derulo is fairly prolific, having written songs for the likes of Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and Lil Wayne before breaking into a solo career that comprises a couple of records, including hits like ‘Talk Dirty’and ‘Want to Want Me’. Derulo, having worked with the likes of Nicki Minaj and Pitbull in recent years, is very well known and the decision to rope him in is wise, particularly since he is also a dancer and has incredible performing abilities.
Homegrown music superstars, such as Ali Zafar and Shehzad Roy, whose association with PSL dates back to the first season and who have written songs for this year’s edition as well, will also be taking the stage. Both Roy and Zafar have massive following and will be looking to up the ante respectively. Zafar will, at minimum, do a thumping rendition of his 2018 PSL anthem, ‘Dil Se Jaan Laga De’. As the popstar explained, while the first song he wrote for PSL served as an introduction and the second one was about vision, the third one is about celebration.
Roy will probably perform his HBL-PSL anthem ‘Lo Phir Se Miley’.
One does hope that in upcoming editions, the PSL will also rope in artists like Noori, Meesha Shafi, Lyari Underground, SomeWhatSuper and Abid Brohi to provide greater variety. Regardless, this upcoming opening ceremony will be worth watching.
As for the rest of it, PSL’s opening ceremony is set to take place in the UAE on February 22, which will be followed by a match between Peshawar Zalmi and the newly added Multan Sultans. Other teams to play the edition include Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators, Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United.