Key matches from the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2019) will be played at the Sharjah Stadium from Feb 20 to 24. These eight matches will showcase all the six participating teams to ensure the fans get the best of games.
While a sixth team will be announced to replace Multan Sultans, the other five teams are the Peshawar Zalmis, Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United.
The teams are very evenly balanced and will make for a very exciting competition with predictions on who will be a favourite to be the champion team very difficult to make.
Sharjah stadium, still the world's number one venue in the world for ODIs will be opening up another 2,000 seats in the North Stand for this tournament as part of the first phase its ambitious expansion blueprint. A specially designed and outfitted media lounge will also be functional during this tournament.
Waleed Bukhatir, Vice-Chairman of the Sharjah Cricket Club expressed his delight that the PSL is playing these crucial games at Sharjah. "The top players in the world congregate once again at the stadium," he said.
"For us at Sharjah this is the fourth decade of promoting cricket in the region and our aim has been to invite the best of the world to enjoy the magic that makes Sharjah so special," Waleed said.
Once again, we have 8 exciting games of what I believe will be a sensational display of nail biting finishes. We have grand plans for giving this facility a major upgrade which is now a work in progress and it is only fitting that it stays the premier ground globally."
Setting the standard is Sharjah Cricket Club General Manager Mazhar Khan whose ground staff are ensuring the pitches will be conducive to big T20 scores and give fans their money's worth.
Shahid Afridi will be back - this time with a third team. Having started out with Peshawar Zalmi, then moved on to Karachi Kings, he is now with a new franchise, yet to be named, and formed from the remnants of Multan Sultans.
"We look forward to welcoming Afridi, an absolute legend of the game," said Shoaib Malik, the captain of the "sixth team".
The Quetta Gladiators will be captained by Sarfraz Ahmed backed by Umar Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Anwar Ali and overseas stars Fawad Ahmed (Australia), Sunil Narine (West Indies), Dwayne Bravo (West Indies).
Lahore Qalandars are led by Mohammed Hafeez with Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Afridi, Yasir Shah in its ranks and supported by Sandeep Lamichanne (Nepal), AB de Villiers (South Africa) and Corey Anderson (New Zealand).
The skipper for Islamabad United is Luke Ronchi (New Zealand) with national players Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Asif Ali. The foreign strength includes Samit Patel (England), Ian Bell (England), Zahir Khan (Afghanistan)
Karachi Kings are led by Imad Wasim and have Mohammed Amir, Babar Azam, Usman Shinwari to give them spine. Their overseas contingent is headed by Colin Munro (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe) and Liam Livingstone (England). Daren Sammy captains Peshawar Zalmi and has Wahab Riaz, Kamran Akmal and Hasan Ali to depend on with Liam Dawson (England), Dawid Malan (England), Kieron Pollard (West Indies) adding muscle to the team.