Chairman PCB Ehsan Mani termed the day as a historic one for Karachi
An impressive closing ceremony of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 took place at the National Stadium in Karachi, before the grand finale between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi.
A minute of silence was observed at beginning of the ceremony in solidarity with the families of victims killed in the unfortunate shooting incident in New Zealand.
At least 49 people were killed and dozens wounded in the deadly attack at a mosque in Christchurch.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani expressed his delight at the successful organisation of HBL PSL4.
“This is a historic day for Karachi,” said Mani. “Millions of people have watched these matches in stadium and on digital media. Cricket brings a lot of happiness to people. Thank you to people of Karachi for making it a success by turning up in large numbers”
He added: “I would like to thank Sindh government and security agencies for the splendid arrangements. Also without the Federal Government and Prime Minster [Imran Khan]’s help, PSL would not have been a success.”
He was also hopeful about hosting entire PSL5 in Pakistan next year.
"Next year we want to ensure that all the PSL matches take place in Pakistan," he said.
Speaking about overseas players visiting Pakistan, Mani said: “Also thank the foreign players for deciding to visit Pakistan. Hopefully the entire PSL will take place in Pakistan next year.”
Sharing his thoughts on the final, Mani said: “Both teams would love to win the final. They are great sides but the team which plays well today will win.”
Chief Guest and the honourable Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, also spoke to the audience on this occasion.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with families of victims killed in Christchurch,” said Shah.
Speaking about hosting the final in Karachi, Shah said: “We organised the final last year and this time we arranged eight matches. This is a win for Karachi.”
He added: “Sindh government will try to play a role in revival of international cricket in Pakistan. I hope foreign players are enjoying their time here and hopefully we will get to see a great final.”
The ceremony was hosted by one of the most popular anchors and singers, Karachi’s very own Fakhar-e-Alam.
Spain’s football star Carles Puyol was the special guest at the closing ceremony. The Barcelona central defender earned 100 international caps and won the Euro 2008 and FIFA World Cup 2010.
“Thank you Pakistan for an amazing welcome,” said Puyol. “I’m happy to see so many people like football in the country, along with cricket.”
The leading performers, who displayed their talent, included Abrar-ul-Haq, Aima Baig, Shuja Haider, Fawad Khan, Young Desi with the final performance of the ceremony by the heart-throb Junoon.