DUBAI – Defending champions Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi will clash in the opening contest of the second edition of the Pakistan Super League here on Thursday.

The match will start at 9 PM on Pakistan Standard Time (PST), 8 PM according to UAE time.

Islamabad United has seasoned Pakistani skipper Misbah Ul Haq as its captain whereas Peshawar Zalmi is entering the tournament with Darren Sammy as captain instead of Shahid Afridi.

Before the start of the match, Pakistani star performers including Shehzad Roy, Ali Zafar and Fahad Mustafa would be enthralling the audience while international celebrity Shaggy would also casting a spell over cricket fans.

Pakistan Super League Chairman Najam Sethi talking to newsmen on Wednesday promised a glittering opening ceremony besides thanking musicians for their appearance.

‘I want to retain an element of surprise before the opening ceremony, it should be an enthralling evening, I also welcome and thank the stars especially Shaggy who has flown down to Dubai for the event, Ali Zafar, Shehzad Roy and Fahad Mustafa will all be making a big contribution as we endeavour to deliver an enthralling success,’ the PSL chairman said.

Islamabad United 16-Member Squad

Misbahul Haq (c), Shane Watson, Andre Russell, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Samuel Badree, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Brad Haddin, Sam Billings, Saeed Ajmal, Asif Ali, Rumman Raees, Imran Khalid, Amad Butt and Hussain Talat.

Peshawar Zalmi 16-Member Squad

Shahid Afridi, Darren Sammy (c), Eoin Morgan, Wahab Riaz, Shakibal Hasan, Mohammad Hafeez, Chris Jordan, Tamim Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Junaid Khan, Imran Khan, Jr Iftikhar Ahmed, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Asghar.

Five competing teams – Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United, Quetta Gladiators and Karachi Kings – have a blend of international and local stars along with a group of youngsters, providing fans with an action packed cricket bouquet.

The PSL final will be held in Lahore on March 7 as the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed that it will be played in Pakistan.