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PSL 8: Lahore Qalandars kit, rousing anthem released

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Defending champions of Lahore Qalandars have unveiled their kit and anthem for the upcoming eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Thursday.

The Qalandars unveiled their anthem and their kit during the ‘Qalandars Night’ at the Alhamra Cultural Complex in Lahore.

The riveting anthem is titled ‘Qalandar Hum’ and is sung by J Ali, who also composed the song. Meanwhile, the rousing lyrics of the song were penned by Zeeshan Hussain and the song was directed by Sameen Rana, the COO of the Lahore Qalandars franchise.

The song embodies the theme “from hope to reality”, and played along with its engrossing shots of Lahore, cricket and the liveliness of the city known as the heart of the country, it is sure to leave fans hyped up.

Moreover, the Qalandars have also revealed their kit for the exciting and much-hyped edition of the tournament.

As in previous editions, the Qalandars will don the green colour for home-matches and red for away-matches.

Much like the anthem, the kit too pays tribute to Lahore, with a map of the city printed on the front.

Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board‘s (PCB) Management Committee, Najam Sethi, was among those who attended the event.

The Qalandars will kick off their PSL title defence against Multan Sultans in a rematch of the grand final of the seventh edition of the event.

The two sides will take on each other at the Multan Cricket Stadium after an opening ceremony on February 13.

Qalandars will attempt to become the first side to win back-to-back titles; meanwhile Islamabad United will aim to become the most successful side by lifting the trophy thrice.

Lahore Qalandars squad

Rashid Khan, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, David Wiese, Abdullah Shafique, Shane Dadswell, Kamran Ghulam, Zaman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Hussain Talat, Sikandar Raza, Liam Dawson, Dilbar Hussain, Mirza Tahir Baig, Ahmed Danlyal, Shawaiz Irfan, Jordan Cox, Jalat Khan, Ahsan Bhatti, Sam Billings (partial replacement for Rashid Khan) and Kusal Mendis (partial replacement for Jordan Cox)

Pakistan

PCB acquires a multi-story structure next to Gaddafi Stadium

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The multi-story building is set to undergo renovations and be converted into a seven-star hotel, catering to both local and foreign guests.

With this development, the problem of housing foreign players and visiting teams during the Pakistan Super League (PSL)—who presently have to stay in five-star hotels in the area—will be resolved.

This will also save travel time and get rid of traffic problems while teams are traveling from their hotels to the stadium.

In addition, three significant stadiums, including the Gaddafi Stadium, are being renovated by PCB in preparation for the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy, which will be held in Pakistan.

In an interview with the media during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 final last month, Chairman PCB Mohsin Naqvi acknowledged the necessity of upgrading three main stadiums before moving on to other locations.

“Before the Champions Trophy, our three key venues—Lahore, Karachi, and Rawalpindi—will be refurbished. After these three are completed, we will renovate the remaining venues as well. After they are renovated, our stadiums will be state-of-the-art, according to Chairman PCB.

Later that month, representatives from NESPAK (National Engineering Services of Pakistan) gave the chairman the idea to renovate three significant stadiums.

In addition to highlighting the significance of renovating the hospitality boxes at all three locations, the chairman gave instructions to the officials about his plans to improve the view for the fans from every seat in the stadium, according to a press statement from the PCB.

“The Chairman directed the NESPAK officials to begin stadium work immediately, keeping in mind a tight window of time before hosting the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, as the upgradation plan will be finalized soon.”

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Pakistan

Shan Masood desires test matches between India and Pakistan.

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Due to long-standing political difficulties between the two adjacent countries, Pakistan and India have not played a Test match since 2007–08 and a bilateral series in any format since 2012–13.

However, only international competitions such as the Asia Cup and ICC World Cups brought the bitter adversaries together.

Their most recent match took place in front of an enormous crowd of about 130,000 in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024, while their T20 World Cup 2022 match was seen by an even larger gathering of about 94,000 people at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

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Pakistan

Sources claim that Babar was reappointed as the cricket team’s captain.

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Reappointing Babar Azam to lead the national squad upon the call of the newly-formed selection committee was decided by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday.

Sources claim that Babar will captain the Green Shirts in the upcoming five-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand, which kicks off on April 20.

After the team’s crushing defeat in the ICC World Cup 2023, Shaheen Shah Afridi was chosen as the white-ball captain, while Shan Masood was named the red-ball captain by the previous PCB administration.

The sources claimed that Babar’s appointment as captain was suggested by the selection committee. They said he will go to the Kakul training camp as captain.

Shaheen had chosen to step down, but his close friends urged him against it and to wait for the PCB’s decision, according to individuals close to him.

After guiding the team for four years, Babar resigned as captain of the national team in all formats in November of last year. After Pakistan’s poor performance in both the Asia Cup and the World Cup, where they were unable to advance to the semi-finals, he faced criticism for several months.

Although Babar was named Test and white-ball captain in 2020 and 2019, respectively, the side has neither won an Asia Cup nor an ICC championship while he has been captain.

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