PSL-4 kicked off with star-studded ceremony in Dubai

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Abdul Basit

The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) kicked off on Thursday (February 14) evening at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium with the renowned musicians and signers Junoon, Boney M and Fawad Khan. The event started with the national anthem of Pakistan.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani acknowledged the contribution of UAE’s cricketing authorities and main sponsors for helping the board stage its flagship T20 league year in, year out. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Tollerrance, was also in attendance.

Mani made way for a marching band that played Europe’s The Final Countdown — famous for being the tune of the 1992 World Cup, which the Pakistani national team won under the captaincy of incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Euro-Caribbean Boney M were next. The highlight of their set was their trademark track: Daddy Cool. Pop sensation Aima Baig serenaded the audience with her rendition of Nazia Hasan’s famous Disco Deewanay. She was also joined by Shuja Haider on stage.

Legendary Junoon rockers Ali Azmat, Salman Ahmed and Brian O’Connell were the penultimate act. They kicked off their set with their smash hit Yar Bina before tearing into Heeray.

Fawad Khan was the final performer of the night. He treated the crowd with the official PSL 2019 anthem Khel Deewano Ka. He was joined by rapper Young Desi for a cameo.

As the duo performed, the six teams and their players walked out in the middle. The confetti rained, the lights flashed, the pyrotechnics took over — the 2019 PSL was officially underway.

The notable absentee was American rapper Pitbull, who was supposed to headline the opening ceremony but had to pull out due to a “technical issue” with his flight.

PSL is a T20 league featuring six franchises that represent six different cities battling for cricketing supremacy each year. Islamabad United are the reigning champions and also the PSL’s most successful side, having won both the inaugural and last year’s events. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com