KARACHI: The National Stadium is lighting up today to welcome cricket’s homecoming to Pakistan’s biggest city, as thousands of fans flock to the sold-out National Stadium to witness two great teams face off for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2018 trophy.
Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi arrived at the stadium amid tight security Sunday evening.
PCB Director Media Amjad Bhatti confirmed a two-hour extension in the entry time. The stadium’s gates will remain open until 7PM.
Neither of the teams is any stranger to the gold: Islamabad United, under the sure-footed leadership of Misbah, lifted the inaugural PSL trophy in 2016. Peshawar Zalmi, led by the charismatic Darren Sammy, were crowned the champions in 2017.
After beating Karachi Kings in the second eliminator on Wednesday, Peshawar Zalmi took their tally of overall wins to 19 — the most by any team in the PSL. But guess who’s right behind? Islamabad United, with 18 wins.
Today’s contest will be truly between the two best teams of PSL.
Pop star Ali Zafar while exclusive speaking to Geo News requested fans to show their ‘Karachi spirit’, as cricket is returning to the city after nine years.
Head coach: Mohammad Akram
Captain: Darren Sammy
Squad: Darren Sammy (c), Tamim Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Andre Fletcher, Riki Wessels, Hammad Azam, Haris Sohail, Khushdil Shah, Umaid Asif, Saad Nasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Liam Dawson, Sameen Gul, Hasan Ali, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Asghar, Wahab Riaz
Head coach: Dean Jones
Captain: JP Duminy (in absence of injured Misbah-ul-Haq)
Squad: JP Duminy (c), Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Mohammad Hasan, Chadwick Walton, Rohail Nazir, Luke Ronchi, Amad Butt, Hussain Talat, Samit Patel, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Samuel Badree, Steven Finn, Mohammad Sami, Zafar Gohar, Waqas Maqsood
Players to watch:
What you need to know
► Shuttle service to stadium started at 12pm
► Stadium gates to close at 5pm
► Closing ceremony to take place around 6pm
► Match to start around 8pm
► Match expected to end around midnight