The 2023 Pakistan Super League (also known as PSL 8 or, for sponsorship reasons, HBL PSL 2023) will be the eighth season of the Pakistan Super League, a franchise Twenty20 cricket league which was established by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in 2015. Former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had hinted at an auction-based system to replace the draft for the 2023 version of the tournament but the draft was retained. The draft for the tournament was held on 15 December in Karachi. A total of 36 foreign players were picked alongside local players. The tournament is scheduled to take place from 13 February to 19 March 2023.
2016 Opening ceremony
The opening ceremony of PSL season 1 in 2016 was held on 4 February 2016 at 7:00 pm and ended at 8:00 pm. It was held at Dubai International Cricket Stadium before the first match between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators.
The hosts of the ceremony were Yasir Hussain and Stephanie Siriwardhana, and the co-hosts were Zainab Abbas and Alan Wilkins. It featured live performances by Pakistani singer Ali Zafar, Jamaican rapper and singer Sean Paul, Mohib Mirza, Sanam Saeed, and other artists. Chris Gayle, Daren Sammy, and Jason Holder also joined Paul during performing. Zafar performed the official anthem of the league, “Ab Khel Ke Dikha”
The ceremony ended with a firework display.
The closing ceremony was also held at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on 23 February 2016.
2017 Opening ceremony
The opening ceremony of the PSL’s second season was held on 9 February 2017 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Defending champions Islamabad United entered in shalwar kameez. Over 26,000 people attended the ceremony in the stadium. According to a source of Samaa TV, Justin Bieber was also invited but no confirmation was made.
The ceremony was hosted by actor Fahad Mustafa.Jamaican pop star and singer Shaggy sang his 1995 hit song “Bombastic”.
Zafar sang the league’s official song “Ab Khel Jamay Ga”. Shehzad Roy performed the song “Ballay Ballay” and said that while performing, he felt proud and emotional and hoped that it would happen in Pakistan soon. “Dil Dil Pakistan” was also played at the ceremony as a tribute to Junaid Jamshaid. Momina Mustehsan appeared to support Islamabad United by singing “Cricket Joray Pakistan”. Mehwish Hayat and Bilal Ashraf supported Lahore Qalandars. Fawad Khan with Qatar Airlines’ crew also appeared.
Sheikh Mubarak bin Zayed al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Minister of Culture, went on stage and praised the efforts and contributions of Pakistanis in helping the UAE. He said that the PSL testifies the strong bond between both countries. He was thanked by the PCB chairman for hosting the event.
Najam Sethi invited Misbah-ul-Haq and captains of other teams to come on stage and sign the bat as a donation to the Edhi Foundation. The ceremony ended with a firework display.
The closing ceremony was held at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on 5 March 2017. It was hosted by Ayesha Omer and Ahmed Ali Butt. Nearly 30,000 spectators attended the ceremony. Pakistan army paratroopers demonstrated their skills at the ceremony as a tribute to the martyrs of Pakistan.
Zafar announced that he would not perform in the ceremony, but he later changed his mind and performed “Ab Khel Jamay Ga”.
Faakhir Mehmood sang his song “Tere Bin Dil Na Lage” at the ceremony. Ali Azmat sang “Yaro Yehi Dosti Hai”, “Jazba Junoon”, “Josh-e-Junoon” and “Lal Meri Pat”. Afterwards, Sammy took a stadium round, while Peshawar Zalmi. Overload also performed by singing “Dama Dam Mast Qalandar”. At the end, Sethi thanked Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif for bringing PSL’s final to Pakistan.
2018 Opening ceremony
Before the ceremony, Peshawar Zalmi arranged a show with Kapil Sharma titled Zalmi Nights with Kapil Sharma.
The ceremony started at 7:00 pm and concluded at 10:00 pm. It was hosted at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on 22 February 2018, following the match between Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi. Artists including Jason Derulo, Abida Parveen, Zafar and Roy were among the performers. Hareem Farooq and Bilal Ashraf hosted the ceremony. The ceremony also featured the Pakistani Sachal Orchestra and a firework display.] A teaser of Zafar’s Pakistani film Teefa in Trouble was also shown. Ali Zafar started the opening ceremony with his performance, after which all the teams entered the stadium.
At the end, Zafar sang “Dil Se Jaan Laga De” and “Rockstar”. Rameez Raja introduced the expansion franchise in the league, Multan Sultans. Sethi said that the finals would be held in Karachi and that all matches would eventually be held in Pakistan.
Derulo sang his song “Swalla”Parveen sang “Dama Dam Mast Qalandar” and “Tery Ishq Nachaya”, Roy performed, and Zafar sang.
After ceremony, a match was played between Peshawar Zalmi and Multan Sultans, the latter of whom won.
The closing ceremony took place at National Stadium, Karachi, on 25 March 2018 at 6:00 pm, followed by the final match played by Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi. The presenter of the ceremony was Bilal Ashraf. The performers include Zafar, Roy, Strings band, Aima Baig and Farhan Saeed. A crowd of 33,000 people were present in the stadium.
Aima Baig sang her Coke Studio’s rendition of “Baazi”. Later, Hassan Ali and Sammy joined Strings, who performed “Hai Koi Hum Jaisa”
2019 Opening ceremony
The opening ceremony was held on 14 February at 8:00 pm at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, prior to the first match of the season between Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United. The ceremony started with “Ishy Bilady” and “Qaumi Tarana”. The hosts of ceremony were Rameez Raja and Zainab Abbas. Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, chairman of the Emirates Cricket Board wished all teams and players and congratulated PCB. Later, Ehsan Mani thanked the UAE government and welcomed everyone.
The ceremony featured a marching band, which performed the band Europe’s song, “The Final Countdown”. Marcia Barrett from Boney M. performed “Daddy Cool” by the band. Aima Baig and Shuja Haider performed their rendition of Nazia Hassan and Zoheb Hassan’s “Disco Deewane”; Zoheb Hassan stated it was done without his permission and tweeted that he would take legal action. Junoon sang “Yaar Bina”, “Heerey” and “Jazba-e-Junoon”. The last performance was the title anthem of the league’s fourth season by Khan featuring Young Desi titled “Khel Deewano Ka”. Then, a medley of Zafar’s previous anthems for PSL was played and followed by the fireworks.
American rapper Pitbull was supposed to perform at the ceremony, but he withdrew due to a technical fault in his plane’s engine.
The closing ceremony of the league was held at National Stadium, Karachi at 6:00 pm on 17 March 2019, before the league’s final match between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators. The host of ceremony was Fakhar-e-Alam. A one-minute silence was also observed in respect of the martyrs and victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand. Nearly 32,000 spectators were present in the stadium.
After this, Abrar-ul-Haq performed his song “Nach Majajan”. Baig and Haider again paid a tribute to Nazia Hassan by performing “Dosti” and “Disco Deewane”, with permission from Zoheb Hassan. Khan and Young Desi performed the title anthem of the league’s fourth season, “Khel Deewano Ka”. Sahir Ali Bagga performed “Har Dil Ki Awaz” at the ceremony. The last performance was given by Junoon, who sang “Zamaane Ke Andaaz”, “Khudi Ko Kar Buland”, “Sayonee” and “Dil Dil Pakistan”.
2020 Opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony was held on 20 February 2020 at 6:45 pm at National Stadium in Karachi, prior to the first match of the league that was played between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United.
The show began with the national anthem of Pakistan. Afterwards, a drummers and trumpeter group performed an instrumental version of the official anthem of PSL 2020 titled “Tayyar Hain”. It was followed by a Sufi medley that featured singers Sanam Marvi, qawwals Abu Mohammad and Fareed Ayaz, and the band Soch. Other singers appeared at the ceremony, including Sajjad Ali, who sang his 90s hits “Babia” and “Sohni Lagdi”; Baig, who performed “Dhola” at the ceremony; Abrar-ul-Haq; and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The ceremony concluded with Ali Azmat, Arif Lohar, Haroon Rashid and Asim Azhar’s performance of PSL 2020’s anthem “Tayyar Hain”, which was accompanied by fireworks in the background Nearly 350 artists performed at the ceremony Ahmed Godil hosted the ceremony whose style appeared to mimic Imran Khan and was replaced with Fakhar-e-Alam. Godil revealed in a show at Samaa TV that his mother could not sleep the entire night due to memes of him and criticized the ceremony for being poorly managed.
Sindh chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah credited the people of Karachi for the opening ceremony and thanked PCB.
The closing ceremony of the league was scheduled to be held on 22 March 2020 in Lahore, but the ceremony, play-offs, and finals were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony was rescheduled for 17 November 2020 at National Stadium, Karachi, but was cancelled as there were no spectators in the stadium as a precaution against the pandemic.
The ceremony was recorded in Istanbul, Turkey, and telecasted. The artist lineup included Atif Aslam, Imran Khan, and Humaima Malik, aside of the performers of the official anthem of PSL 6, “Groove Mera” – Baig, Naseebo Lal and Young Stunners.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan had also confirmed Zafar’s appearance at the show, but the latter denied it.
PSL 2023 SCHEDULE
PSL 8 schedule 2023 is yet to be released officially by the PCB. But, as per reports, the inaugural match will take place on 15th February 2023, and the final will be held on 19th March. We will update you with the exact PSL 2023 schedule as soon as it is released. You can have a look at a few key inputs regarding match timings:
- Opening Ceremony: 6:00 PM
- Opening Match: 7:00 PM
- Friday Double Matches: 3:00 PM & 8:00 PM
- Other Days Double Matches: 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM
- Single Matches: 7:00 PM