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All players will not be available for HBL PSL5 opening ceremony

The franchises have been delegated the final decision in this regard

PHOTO: PCB

Due to the busy schedules and travel arrangements, it will not be mandatory for all players to be present at the opening ceremony of the upcoming Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five. The franchises have been delegated the final decision in this regard. The franchises have the option of being represented by the captain and team owners alone if it is deemed necessary.

The event director, from last year, is no longer available for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Two officials from the board have departed for Dubai to participate in various meetings. Another important matter looks set to be discussed in a high profile meeting in Lahore on Wednesday.

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The opening ceremony of the HBL PSL 5 is scheduled to be held at the National Stadium in Karachi on February 20. The ceremony will then be proceeded by the first match of the league which would pit defending champions Quetta Gladiators against Islamabad United.

In the past, the teams of each franchise carried their respective flags into the ground, to the thunderous ovation from the ground, up to the stage. However, all teams might not be able to participate in the opening ceremony.

The next day, after the opening ceremony on Thursday, Lahore Qalandars are scheduled to face Multan Sultans at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Multan Sultans will then face Islamabad United at the same venue on Wednesday.

According to sources, various franchises have insisted that it would not be possible to travel a day prior to their matches. This is why it is not mandatory for players to participate in the opening ceremony.

The PCB has asked the captains and franchise owners to come to the opening ceremony, in case their teams are not available. However, officials from Multan Sultans are unhappy with the development. They believe that their captain needs to be in Lahore a day before their first league encounter so that the team can finalise their strategy while practicing for the match.

The PCB accepted this demand and has now provided the franchises with the leeway to decide which players they send for the opening ceremony.