Sultans beat champs Zalmi in Pakistan Super League opener

Hosted by film star Hareem Farooq and Bilal Ashraf, Pakistani heart-throb Ali Zarfar performed on a song of his upcoming Pakistani film Teefa.

They will take on defending champions Peshawar Zalmi in the opening match in Dubai Thursday, after a rousing opening ceremony set to include a performance by USA rapper Jason Derulo.

Speaking to Geo News, he said: " I believe that we have not seen and have not ignited the rivalry between Lahore and Karachi since the time when my elder brother Waseem Raja used to play", adding, "I want the rivalry to be re-ignited as massive cricketing talent comes through it".

Pakistan has staged its worldwide fixtures in the United Arab Emirates in recent years as it grapples with militant violence. Two more Bangladesh players Mahmudullah Riyad and Mustafiur Rahman will feature for Quetta Gladiators and Lahore Qalanders respectively.

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor expressed his excitement over commencement of Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the final of the tournament which will be held in Karachi on March 25.

Amid all the frenzy Najam Sethi, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board made it a point to address the mammoth crowd.

Meanwhile, hashtag #PSL2018 is trending top on twitter in Pakistan. Zalmi, captained by Darren Sammy and Sultans' captained by Shoaib Malik, are to begin the third year of PSL with their teams.

"We are very satisfied that PSL has become an global brand in two years".

Another fast bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and batsman Sahibzada Farhan - both from troubled areas of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province - will also be on the radar. Last year, 24 matches happened, this year there will be 34.

Islamabad United will be playing 6 matches in Sharjah - the most by any team at the historic venue.

  • Rogelio Becker