The seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2022 is upon us. The much-anticipated event kicked off in Karachi on Thursday with an impressive opening ceremony at Karachi’s National Stadium. But PSL fans are some another level of meme game as the tournament begins.
The event began with a documentary shedding light on the journey of cricket in Pakistan. It featured a voice-over by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja.
Paragliders also descended from the sky at one point, making a clean landing in the stadium. Singers Atif Aslam and Aima Baig turned up the heat on a cold Karachi evening by performing this year’s anthem Agay Dekh.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special message to PSL teams was also played during the ceremony, followed by a vibrant fireworks display.
The ceremony will be followed by a match between defending champions Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam will lead the Kings while wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan is the captain for Sultans.
Fans rejoice with a meme game as PSL returns with its seventh installment. The stadium echoesd with the chants of Babar and Rizwan. Meanwhile, Pakistani Twitter readied itself for what they do best. You got that right. We are talking about them delivering us some of the best memes of all time.
Some of the funniest ones we came across:
The recent rise of coronavirus cases across Pakistan has forced the PCB to limit spectators in Karachi — which will host matches until Feb 7 — to 25 per cent only, following recommendations by the National Command and Operation Centre.
No such decision has been taken for Lahore yet, with the city’s Gaddafi Stadium set to host PSL matches from February 10 to 27, including the final.
Strict bio-secure bubbles
It is not only the fans who have to face restrictions due to the pandemic. The PCB has arranged strict bio-secure bubbles for the six franchise sides, with the intent to avoid delays at any cost.
According to the playing conditions set by the board’s technical committee, matches will go ahead even if 13 players out of the teams’ 20-man squads are available.
In a situation where the player availability is even lower, affected teams will be allowed to pick from a reserve pool. If a Covid-19 outbreak occurs, the tournament will be halted for seven days, bio-secure bubbles will be reset from scratch and double-headers will be held in the remaining days to meet the February 27 deadline.
Despite these steps, the pandemic has already put a dampener of the event before its start. Quetta Gladiators on Thursday announced that all-rounder Shahid Afridi would miss the start of PSL after testing positive for coronavirus.
The first leg of 15 matches will be played in Karachi from Jan 27 to Feb 7, while the remaining 19 matches will be held in Lahore from Feb 10-27.
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments section below.