Teams will take part in the first game of the new season in Dubai on Thursday, February 14
Lahore Qalandars will be looking to put up an impressive performance to start their campaign on a high, when they face defending champions Islamabad United, in the season opener of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) fourth edition in Dubai on Thursday.
The match will be played after a glamorous opening ceremony, where hosts of stars including Pitbull, Fawad Ahmed and Junoon band will perform and entertain the crowd.
Qalandars is, perhaps, the most under-achieving team in the competition as they finished last in all three previous seasons. Therefore the team, which is named after the provincial capital of Punjab, will be hoping to put up a much better show this time around.
The team will be captained by veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who is an experienced campaigner in the shortest format of the game.
He will be accompanied by former South Africa captain AB de Villiers, explosive opener Fakhar Zaman, young left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
On the other hand, United will once again start as one of the favourites after managing to win the title twice — in 2016 and 2018.
However, this time around, the team will enter the competition with a new captain in Mohammad Sami. The experienced right-arm pacer will replace veteran middle-order batsman Misbahul Haq, who has joined Peshawar Zalmi for the PSL season four.
Sami will have the luxury of players like Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Cameron Delport and Luke Ronchi at his disposal, as the team begin their hunt to defend the title.
In the previous five meetings between both teams, it is United who have a better record as they emerged victorious on three occasions, whereas Qalandars won twice.