The fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) will kick off in Dubai today (Thursday).
The opening fixture will be contested between defending champions Islamabad United and the Lahore Qalandars at 9:45pm Pakistan Standard Time.
Islamabad United have the upper hand over the Lahore Qalandars as they have a win percentage of 58.33 over the Qalandars side.
A colourful opening ceremony will officially mark the start of the star-studded T20 competition as local and international stars such as Junoon, Aima Baig, Fawad Khan, Young Desi, Shuja Haider and Boney M with enthrall the audience with their performances. Pitbull was also supposed to perform but has sent his regrets, citing the long flight to Dubai as his reason for dropping out.
All six captains will be present with their sides while a spectacular display of fireworks will light up the skies of Dubai.
Following Quetta Gladiators skipper Sarfraz Ahmed’s racial slur towards South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) approved an anti-racism code which will come into effect in the tournament. It is a reflection of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code with “slight modifications”.
The cricket board has also made the players and franchise officials sign a “code of conduct” which aims to end corruption in the tournament. It prohibits players from attending private gatherings and cricketers are instructed to report any suspicious activities to the authorities. The use of mobile phones is banned in dressing rooms whereas franchise owners are also restricted from entering dressing rooms.
Islamabad United squad: Sahibzada Farhan, Asif Ali, Muhammad Musa, Samit Patel, Cameron Delport, Philip Salt, Hussain Talat, Luke Ronchi, Faheem Ashraf, Zafar Gohar, Waqas Maqsood, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Sami (captain), Ian Bell, Nasir Nawaz, Wayne Parnell, Zahir Khan, Amad Butt and Rizwan Hussain.
Lahore Qalandars squad: Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, AB de Villiers, Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Yasir Shah, Sohail Akhtar, Shaheen Afridi, Rahat Ali, Agha Salman, Anton Devcich, Carlos Brathwaite, Corey Anderson, Sandeep Lamichhane, Umair Masood, Hassan Khan, Mohammad Imran, Hardus Viljoen, David Wiese, Saad Ali, Brendan Taylor, Aizaz Cheema, Gauhar Ali and Haris Rauf