PSL 7 kicks off with colorful opening ceremony in Karachi

Karachi Kings, Multan Sultans lock horns today in first game

09:53 AM | 27 Jan, 2022
PSL 7 kicks off with colorful opening ceremony in Karachi

KARACHI – The seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) kicked off in Karachi on Saturday with a coloruful opening ceremony at National Stadium.

The event began with a documentary talking about the journey of cricket in Pakistan. It featured the voice of Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ramiz Raja.

The excitement level reached a boil when singers Atif Aslam and Aima Baig performed this year's anthem 'Agay Dekh'.

A message from Prime Minister Imran Khan to PSL teams was also played during the opening ceremony, followed by a stunning fireworks display.

The first match between Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans will start at 7:30 pm PST. Before the event, a glittering brief opening ceremony will be conducted. 

Karachi Kings will be led by Babar who replaced Imad Wasim as skipper while Multan Sultans will be led by Mohammad Rizwan who amassed a number of ICC records in 2021.

Pakistan’s all-format skipper Babar Azam in a statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said “I am very excited to be leading Karachi Kings this season. This is the first instance that I will be captaining aside in the HBL PSL and I am looking forward to it. The first match of the tournament always has a lot of eyeballs and Multan Sultans can prove to be tough opposition. I am sure the fans will get to see a thrilling contest.”

Rizwan, who was named ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year, said he was optimistic to defend the HBL PSL title. “We have all the potential to defend our HBL PSL title and we will be taking the field tomorrow with that mindset,” he said while adding that this season will present us new challenges and we will have to plan accordingly.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board has hired the same company for the seventh edition of its marquee event which successfully created the bio-secure arrangements in gulf nation last year.

PCB Chief said Pakistan is not taking anything for granted as we have designed and put in place robust health and safety protocols for the wellbeing of all (PSL) participants.

Organizers have also adopted the ICC’s recent playing conditions for the cricket carnival. Meanwhile, the seating capacity has been slashed to 25 percent for all matches in Sindh capital, while a decision on the number of spectators in Lahore is to be taken in due course.

PCB announced stern directives as last two editions of the PSL were affected by the Covid pandemic and were completed in two phases after a brief postponement.

Security plan finalised

A comprehensive plan for the matches in the port city has been prepared by the Security Division of Sindh Police.

A spokesperson for DIGP Security and Emergency Services Division said that around 5650 personnel will be deployed for the security of the tournament.

Around 1700 personnel of Security Division including 1200 Special Security Unit (SSU) Commandos, 1500 personnel of Traffic Police, 500 personnel of Special Branch, 250 personnel of Rapid Response Force (RRF) and personnel of Sindh Rangers will be deployed along-with personnel from other law enforcement agencies at National Stadium Karachi, practice grounds, Karachi Airport, routes, hotels, and other different areas, while sharp shooters will also be deployed at sensitive points, local media reported.

Meanwhile, a temporary command and control setup will also be set up at National Stadium to monitor the law and order situation while aerial surveillance will also be made during the movement of the teams.

Moreover, Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T) team comprising highly trained and well-equipped commandos including lady commandos will remain alert at SSU Headquarters as a quick response force to tackle any untoward situation.

Security officials decided that no road will be blocked for public except one track of Sir Shah Suleman Road.

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For spectators, a shuttle bus service will be available from the parking point to the stadium. The following parking points have been allocated for the spectators coming to the National Stadium;

a) Hakeem Saeed Ground at University Road near Bait ul Mukarram Masjid.

b) China Ground adjacent to National Coaching Centre (For VIPs only).