Sarfaraz Ahmed'sQuetta Gladiators and Babar Azam'sPeshawar Zalmi will clash in the first-ever exhibition match of Pakistan's premium cricket league Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Quetta.
The game will be played today between the two teams at Quetta's Bugti Stadium.
All preparations for the game have been completed, and players and officials of the two teams have reached the provincial capital. Over 13,000 tickets have been sold for the exhibition match, PCB officials said.
Strict security arrangements have been made in the stadium and surrounding areas, with over 4,000 police and the Frontier Corps personnel guarding the premises.
Former star cricketers Shahid Afridi, Javed Miandad and Moin Khan have also reached Quetta to watch the exhibition match, while many showbiz stars including Ayub Khosa and Ahad Raza Mir would also watch the game in the stadium.
According to the district administration, there will be a complete ban on the use of drone cameras in and around the stadium, while cricket fans will not be allowed to bring any flag other than the Pakistani flag to the stadium to watch the match.
It should be noted that according to the schedule, PSL 8 will start on February 13 while the final will be played on March 19 in Lahore.
Matches will be played in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi between February 13 to March 19.
The largest number of matches in this edition is scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi, where 11 matches will be held. Karachi and Lahore will stage nine matches each, while Multan will host five matches.
The 21 international cricketers to appear in PSL for the first time in this edition include Adil Rashid, Akeal Hosein, Izharulhaq Naveed, Josh Little for Multan Sultans; Andrew Tye, James Fuller, Matthew Wade, Tabraiz Shamsi for Karachi Kings; Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Jimmy Neesham, Richard Gleeson for Peshawar Zalmi; Dwaine Pretorius, Naveen-ul-Haq, Nuwan Thushara, Odean Smith, Wanindu Hasaranga Quetta Gladiators; Kusal Mendis and Shane Dadswell for Lahore Qalandars; and Fazalhaq Farooqi, Gus Atkinson, Tom Curran for Islamabad United.
In addition to the foreigners, the local lads aiming to make a big impression in their debut event are: Aamer Jamal (Peshawar Zalmi), Ahsan Bhatti (Lahore Qalandars), Aimal Khan (Quetta Gladiators), Arafat Minhas (Multan Sultans), Haseebullah (Peshawar Zalmi), Hassan Nawaz (Islamabad United), Irfan Khan Niazi (Karachi Kings), Mirza Tahir Baig (Lahore Qalandars), Mohammad ‘Karnal’ Zahid (Quetta Gladiators), Mohammad Sarwar Afridi (Multan Sultans), Omair Bin Yousuf (Quetta Gladiators), Saud Shakeel (Quetta Gladiators), Shawaiz Irfan (Lahore Qalandars), Sufyan Muqeem (Peshawar Zalmi) and Tayyab Tahir (Karachi Kings).
In the PSL 8, Lahore Qalandars will aim to become the first side to win back-to-back titles, while Islamabad United will eye to become the first team to win three titles since the event started in 2016.
In the seven years of PSL, Babar Azam is the leading run-getter with 2,413 runs in 68 matches but is yet to notch up his maiden century. Kamran Akmal, who will miss the event, is the second leading run-getter with 1,972 runs in 75 and is the holder of most centuries — three. Explosive opener Sharjeel Khan has smashed two centuries, while Fakhar Zaman, Rilee Rossouw, Cameron Delport, Colin Ingram, Chris Lynn, Usman Khawaja, Harry Brook and Jason Roy have stroked a century each.