The opening ceremony of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 took place at Karachi's National Stadium on Thursday.
Ahmed Godil opened the ceremony in a speech style that almost seemed mimicry of Prime Minister Imran Khan. It remained unclear whether that was on purpose or if it was his natural style.
The crowd stood up on their feet for the national anthem, which was followed by an augmented reality narration of the PSL’s journey as narrated by Shahzad Nawaz.
The musical part of the opening ceremony began with an elaborate orchestra, including trumpeters and dhol players, presenting an instrumental of the official PSL 2020 anthem, Tayyar Hain.
After Darren Sammy appeared on screen asking the fans to “make some noise”, Fakhar-e-Alam, the master of ceremonies, invited Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah to deliver a speech.
After Habib Bank Limited President and CEO Muhammad Aurangzeb’s speech, PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani narrated the board’s journey from hosting the entire PSL in the UAE to systematically moving it to its real home of Pakistan.
“Pakistan is opening its doors to the rest of the world, and the PSL is making this happen,” Mani said.
The first performance saw a Sufi piece with singer Sanam Marvi and famous qawwali duo Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad.
A Soch jam later, singer Sajjad Ali serenaded the crowd with some of his classic tunes such as Babia and Sohni Lagdi.
Multan Sultans veteran Shahid Afridi made an on-screen appearance to galvanize the crowd before Aima Baig performed a few of her smash hits as dancers flocked around her.
Later on, franchise owners and their captains as well children from the Deaf Reach School were called on stage for an oath-taking ceremony regarding fair play.
The next performance was that of Abrar-ul-Haq, following which the legendary Rahat Fateh Ali Khan mesmerized the crowd with his vocals.
The ceremony’s final act saw the stage taken over by Ali Azmat, Haroon Rashid, Asim Azhar and Arif Lohar, who sang PSL’s official anthem, Tayyar Hain.
As promised, the glittering ceremony concluded with a dazzling display of fireworks.
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