KARACHI -UNS- The glitzy opening ceremony for fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL-5) has begun at National Cricket Stadium in Karachi.
For the first time in its young history, the entire league is taking place in Pakistan with Karachi set to host nine fixtures, Lahore 14, Rawalpindi eight and Multan three between February 20 to March 22.
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The opening ceremony will kick off with national anthem of Pakistan. The national anthems of Pakistan will be followed by fireworks after which the whole stadium lightened up.
National Cricket Stadium will be lighted up to host a star-studded opening ceremony to usher in the tournament.
As many as 350 artists will perform in the opening ceremony at National Stadium Karachi, prior to the inaugural fixture. The metropolitan city is expected to be set alight as artists from different music genres – Sufi, pop, rock, bhangra and folk – will come together to perform at what will be the biggest opening ceremony in the history of the HBL PSL.
Thousands of fans in the stadium will be on the edge of their seats and millions around the globe will be glued to their television sets as world renowned artists like Abrar-ul-Haq, Aima Baig, Abu Mohammad, Fareed Ayaz, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sajjad Ali, Sanam Marvi and rock band Soch will embellish the ceremony with their breath-taking performances, while Ali Azmat, Arif Lohar, Haroon and Asim Azhar will perform HBL PSL 2020’s anthem Tayyar Hain.
The glittery ceremony will also include riveting acts and a spectacular fireworks show. The ceremony, which will be approximately an hour-long, will kick-off at 6.45pm. The toss for the first match will be held at 8.30pm, while the much-anticipated first ball of the HBL PSL 2020 will be delivered at 9pm.
The tournament carries a total prize purse of US $1 million with the winners collecting a cheque of U$ 500K along with a glittering and brand new trophy, while the runner-up will receive a cheque of US$200K.
There will be number of other cash awards, including U$4,500 each to all the 34 player of the matches. Furthermore, US $80K will be equally distributed to player of the tournament, best batsman, best bowler and Spirit of Cricket. The remaining amount will be distributed for other match-related awards like best catch, best run-out and most sixes.
The PSL 2020 is the biggest cricket extravaganza, taking place in Pakistan and first since the six-team Asia Cup 2008. Twelve years ago, the then four Test playing countries were joined by the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong in a 13-match tournament in Karachi and Lahore. Sri Lanka had defeated India in the final at the National Stadium by 100 runs. Prior to this tournament, Pakistan had staged the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 1987 and 1996.
The league follows the double round robin format with each team playing the other five teams twice each in the league stage. Following the group stage will be the standard playoffs format in which the teams ending first and second get to clash in the Qualifier, while the winner moves straight to the final. The losing team will get another chance to have a go at the final berth in Eliminator-2, where they will clash against the winner of the Eliminator-1. The team losing the Eliminator-1 will be knocked out of the event.
The Qualifier will be played on March 17 in Karachi. The Eliminator 1, Eliminator 2 and the Final will take place in Lahore on March 18, 20 and 22 respectively.