PSL 2 begins with magnificent opening ceremony
Pakistani singer Shehzad Roy performs at the opening ceremony (Photo by M Sajjad)
Dubai - Jamaican reggae icon Shaggy got the show started by rocking the crowd with his 1995 hit number 'Boombastic'
As far as opening ceremonies of the plethora of T20 Leagues around the world go, this would take some beating.
The second instalment of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) was set in motion with a truly spectacular Opening Ceremony, which put many to shade, on Thursday night.
The 'Ring of Fire' - the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, which is to host a large chunk of the fixtures, was decked up for the big night, and was a fitting stage for a show of lights, colours, lasers, drummers, dancers, singers, and more importantly, the five teams that make up the PSL.
The show got rolling in breathtaking fashion with five drummers suspended in the air and drumming up a tune.
That was followed by a dancing troupe showcasing the five different provinces - Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta and their rich culture with a beautiful dance performance.
They danced to a number of tunes as a montage of the people and places of Pakistan, slickly ran through a rectangular screen, which covered the pitch and the playing area.
But one song that had the sell-out crowd joining in and singing in unison was 'Dil, Dil, Pakistan,' the unofficial anthem of Pakistan, originally sung by the legendary singer, the late Junaid Jamshed.
And it was perhaps a fitting tribute to the man, who life was snuffed out in a plane crash last year.
After that dance performance, the five squads made their way on to the pitch after which the five captains climbed on to a specially set up stage, near the sightscreen at the far end.
With the PSL chairman Najam Sethi in attendance along with former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja, the brand ambassador of HBL PSL 2017, the five captains - Islamabad United's Misbah-ul-Haq, who was dressed in Pakistan's national dress, the traditional Shalwar Qameez, held aloft the 'Spirit Trophy,' designed by Swarovski.
Then, all the other captains, the ever popular Peshawar Zalmi's Darren Sammy, Quetta Gladiators' Sarfraz Ahmed, Karachi Kings' Kumar Sangakkara and Lahore Qalandars' Brendon McCullum, joined Misbah before they signed the 'Spirit of Cricket' on a cricket bat.
And five minutes before eight, Jamaican reggae icon Shaggy got the show started by rocking the crowd with his 1995 hit number 'Boombastic' as well as other tracks.
It was going to be a truly boombastic night with Ali Zafar, who composed the official anthem of the PSL last year as well as this year, belting out the song. He was soon joined in by singer Shehzad Roy.
Last year saw Jamaican hip hop star Sean Paul and Ali Zafar perform and this time, it was even bigger. A remarkable fireworks display followed, with them illuminating the Dubai sky, to bring an end to the opening ceremony.
After such a fantastic opening, it is now up to the teams to put on a show.