The recently-released anthem for the eighth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has received mixed reactions on social media as fans share their love for the previous anthems.
Curious to see which of the songs was the most loved by fans, Geo Super conducted a poll on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, and the numbers are in.
Of the 661 people who voted at the time of publication of this story, an overwhelming majority felt that the best songs were released during what they called the “Ali Zafar era” of the first three seasons of the PSL during 2016 and 2018.
The second place was also given to Ali Zafar for his song Ab khel jamay ga, which many felt was the “OG PSL anthem” that set the bar so high that nothing else compared.
Following this were the songs of the PSL 3, 4, 1, 7, 6, 5 and 8 respectively.
The fans have spoken. There seems to be no space for a second opinion that despite the passage of time, fans are not likely to forget the “Ali Zafar era” any time soon. Of the 661 people who participated in the poll, 242 people claimed that all of Ali Zafar’s songs were their favourite. After that, many felt, the songs just didn’t meet the level set by Zafar’s anthems.
An astounding 236 people claimed that their favourite anthem was the one released in 2017. This song — also sung by Ali Zafar — was felt by many to be the one that best matched the spirit and fervour of the PSL. It has, in fact, become the unofficial tune of cricket in Pakistan.
Not surprisingly, the next anthem on the list was another Ali Zafar song, which was released as the official anthem for the PSL 3 in 2018. 47 people voted for Dil Se Jaan Laga De as their most loved anthem.
Following the anthems sung by Ali Zafar, another fan-favourite was the 2019 anthem voiced by none other than the Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan. The anthem Khel Deewano Ka won 40 votes, and certainly seemed to have captured the PSL spirit with its catchy music and Fawad’s energetic performance.
The fifth position in the poll was given to yet another song by much-loved Ali Zafar as 29 people voted for the first-ever PSL anthem to be their favourite. This brings the total count of votes in Zafar’s favour to an amazing 554 out of 661 votes.
With Ali Zafar’s songs established as the most loved of all, 26 people also voted in favour of the anthem sung by singing sensations Atif Aslam and Aima Baig.
The song, Agay Dekh was produced by Abdullah Siddiqui — who also produced the anthem for 2023. A statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last year said: Agay Dekh urges audiences to look beyond binaries of victory and defeat, and enjoy the game in its purest essence… the anthem pays tribute to everyone who waits excitedly for this time of year.”
The next anthem in line is Groove Mera, which featured Naseebo Lal, Aima Baig, and Young Stunners, and was the official anthem for the PSL 6. 17 of the voters pegged this anthem as their favourite.
Fans, although initially divided about the song, eventually came to love it and it has since gained many fans.
Next in line was the PSL 2020 anthem, which was performed by some of Pakistan’s greatest singing sensations. With 16 votes, this song almost ties in with Groove Mera.
Sung by Ali Azmat, Arif Lohar, Haroon Rashid and Asim Azhar, Tayyar Hain celebrates the homecoming of the T20 league, as it was the first season in which all matches were played in Pakistan.
Finishing up last, with 8 votes, was the latest anthem featuring Asim Azhar, Shae Gill and Faris Shafi. However, the low rating is understandable given the fact that it is still new and fans are yet to get into the rhythm of this anthem. It is well expected that as the season progresses and fans grow to attribute this song to the PSL, they will grow to love this too.
PCB unveils list of players retained by PSL franchises for season 9
As the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) season 9 is getting closer, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday released a list of players retained by all six franchises of the league.
The PSL’s ninth edition is slated to begin in February 2024.
As per the list, defending champions Lahore Qalandards retained their skipper Shaheen Afridi in the Platinum category. Islamabad United successfully retained their captain Shadab Khan alongside their top-trade Naseem Shah.
“Following the finalisation of all trades and retentions, Multan Sultans will now have the first pick in the first round of the Platinum category, after Multan and Quetta traded Iftikhar Ahmed and Rilee Rossouw between them,” the PCB said in a press release.
“Naseem Shah’s move to Islamabad United also saw their first-round Platinum pick exchanged with Quetta Gladiator’s third-round Platinum pick.
“Following Shan Masood’s move to Karachi Kings, their first-round Silver pick was exchanged for Multan Sultan’s fourth-round Silver pick. Owing to Imad Wasim’s move to Islamabad United, Islamabad’s first-round Silver pick has been exchanged with Karachi’s second-round Silver pick.
“Furthermore, Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators will be required to pick a local player in the Platinum category.
“As per the precedent, each of the six sides will have the Right to Match Card that will allow them to pick any player released from their roster during the draft.”
Lahore Qalandars (8): Shaheen Shah Afridi (Platinum), Haris Rauf (Brand Ambassador) and David Wiese (both Diamond), Sikandar Raza, Abdullah Shafique and Zaman Khan (all Gold), Mirza Tahir Baig (Successful relegation request) and Rashid Khan (both Silver).
Islamabad United (8): Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah (both Platinum), Imad Wasim (Mentor) and Azam Khan (both Diamond), Faheem Ashraf (Brand Ambassador), Alex Hales and Colin Munro (all Gold), Rumman Raees (Successful relegation request in Silver).
Multan Sultans (7): Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed (both Platinum), Khushdil Shah and Usama Mir (both Diamond), Abbas Afridi (Gold), Ihsanullah (Brand Ambassador, Silver), Faisal Akram (Emerging).
Karachi Kings (8): James Vince and Hasan Ali (Diamond), Shan Masood (Brand Ambassador), Shoaib Malik (Mentor) and Tabraiz Shamsi (all Gold), Mir Hamza (Successful relegation request) and Muhammad Akhlaq (both Silver), Muhammad Irfan Khan (Emerging).
Quetta Gladiators (8): Rilee Rossouw (Platinum), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Jason Roy and Wanindu Hasaranga (all Diamond), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Brand Ambassador) Abrar Ahmed and Mohammad Hasnain (all Gold), Will Smeed (Silver).
Peshawar Zalmi (8): Babar Azam and Rovman Powell (both Platinum), Saim Ayub and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (all Diamond), Mohammad Haris (Brand Ambassador) and Aamir Jamal (both Gold), Khurram Shahzad (Silver), Haseebullah (Emerging).
Some of the star foreign players registered in the top two categories:
Platinum: Daniel Sams, Ashton Agar (both Australia), Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (all Afghanistan), Ben Duckett, Chris Jordan, David Willey, Dawid Malan, Luke Wood, Reece Topley, Tom Curran, Tymal Mills (all England), Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal), James Neesham (New Zealand), Rassie van der Dussen, Imran Tahir (both South Africa), Maheesh Theekshana, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (all Sri Lanka), Kieron Pollard, Romario Shepherd, Brandon King Sherfane Rutherford and Kyle Mayers (all West Indies)
Diamond: Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi (both Afghanistan), Ben McDermott (Australia), Litton Das, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahmudullah (all Bangladesh), Dan Lawrence, Gus Atkinson, Jordan Cox, Liam Dawson, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Richard Gleeson, Sam Hain (all England), Tim Seifert, Martin Guptill, Chad Bowes (all New Zealand), George Linde, Lungi Ngidi, Reeza Hendricks, Wayne Parnell, Sisanda Magala (all South Africa), Dilshan Madushanka, Charith Asalanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Sadeera Samarawickrama (all Sri Lanka), Fabian Allen, Johnson Charles, Rahkeem Cornwall, Roston Chase, Shai Hope, Hayden Walsh (all West Indies).
Shan Masood hits double ton against Aussie Prime Minister’s XI
Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood Thursday knocked a double ton on the second day of the four-day game against Australia’s Prime Minister’s XI at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s XI posted 149-2 in 60 overs after Pakistan declared their innings at 391-9.
Masood, on the other hand, resumed his overnight tally of 156 to add 45 more runs to his score, reaching his third first-class double hundred. He ended with an unbeaten 201 from 298 deliveries, including 14 boundaries and a maximum.
Right-arm fast bowler Jordan Buckingham, who had taken three wickets the previous day, struck twice today to complete a five-wicket haul. He removed Aamir Jamal and Mir Hamza, who both went out cheaply.
Shan declared the innings after Khurram Shahzad was run out courtesy of a direct hit by Nathan McSweeney, with the scorecard reading 391-9 in 116.2 overs.
In return, Prime Minister’s XI opening duo of Cameron Bancroft (53, 128b, 3x4s) and Marcus Harris (49, 102b, 6x4s) put up a 96-run stand to give their team a solid start.
Abrar Ahmed provided the breakthrough for Pakistan, dismissing Harris in the 36th over. Right-arm pacer Khurram Shahzad trapped Bancroft LBW to provide Pakistan the second wicket.
Cameron Green (18 not out, 71b, 2x4s) and Matt Renshaw (19 not out, 60b, 1×4) batted together to add 37 more runs to take the total to 149-2 at stumps, with the side trailing by 242.
The third day’s play at Manuka Oval will resume on 0430 PKT.
Pakistan 391-9d, 116.2 overs (Shan Masood 201 not out, Sarfaraz Ahmed 41, Babar Azam 40, Abdullah Shafique 38; Jordan Buckingham 5-80, Mark Steketee 1-58, Nathan McAndrew 1-68, Todd Murphy 1-110)
Prime Minister’s XI 149-2, 60 overs (Cameron Bancroft 53, Marcus Harris 49; Khurram Shahzad 1-23, Abrar Ahmed 1-54)
Update on Naseem Shah’s injury
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday provided a health update on pacer Naseem Shah, who suffered a shoulder injury during the Asia Cup and missed this year’s World Cup as a result.
He also underwent surgery in the United Kingdom.
“Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah started the final stage of his rehabilitation today at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore,” the PCB said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The young pacer was injured during the Asia Cup in September, after which he underwent surgery in the United Kingdom. Following the surgery, he remained in the UK for two months for rehabilitation and initial training as the PCB covered his medical costs and he received continuous care from a team of expert medical staff.
“Naseem’s rehabilitation is being continued at NCA, Lahore under the care of a strength and conditioning coach, a physiotherapist and a doctor. Currently, he is doing light gym exercises and partial bowling practice and will start batting tomorrow.”
Earlier, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Quetta Gladiators’ premium pacer Naseem joined Islamabad United in a major swap deal.
Naseem was the topic of discussion among the cricket fraternity, and every PSL franchise was doing its best to get the 20-year-old on board after it was reported that the right-arm pacer had decided to leave Quetta.
Quetta now has received Islamabad’s first-round Platinum pick while the latter has bagged Quetta’s third-round Platinum pick.
There were strong rumours that Naseem might end up joining Multan Sultans, who recently got Iftikhar Ahmed in another swap deal, or Peshawar Zalmi, but Islamabad came out triumphant in the race to get the pacer’s signature.
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