The Pakistan Super League (PSL) will begin on Thursday with Islamabad United playing the Quetta Gladiators at the Dubai International Stadium. The PSL promises to be a mega spectacle with a number of international cricketers representing the five teams in the competition.
As of now, the focus lies on the first match of the PSL -- Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators. Both teams possess some big names of world of cricket.
However, even without a single ball being bowled in the competition, Islamabad, who are going to be led by experienced cricketer Miabah-ul-Haq, are one of the favourites for the title.
Apart from Misbah, they have some world-class cricketers, which includes Shane Watson, Brad Haddi and Andre Russell. All these players have huge experience in the T20 format and in Watson, who is fresh from his incredible century against India in the final T20 on Sunday, they have one of the cleanest hitters of a cricket ball in the modern game.
It is not only their foreign imports, which makes them a strong team, but their domestic players as well. Mohammad Sami, Saeed Ajmal, Babar Azam and Mohammaed Irfan are set to entertain the crowd with their skills in Dubai. Islamabad United seem to be fairly well-balanced side.
However, Quetta cannot be written off too early, especially when the team has one of the best T20 cricketers in the world in Kevin Pietersen, who was the most expensive buy in the December auction. He was bought for a fee of Â£94,000.
Apart from the flamboyant Pietersen, they also have the services of another Englishman, Luke Wright. Sarfraz Ahmed, Ahmed Shehzad and Anwar Ali are the other well-known faces in the squad. Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara, though, will probably be their most important player.
As both teams comprise some quality players, an entertaining affair is expected between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators in the first match of the PSL. Irrespective of the competition and the team composition, both the teams are aware of the importance of getting off to a great start as a victory can help the team play with great confidence in the future matches of the PSL.
Teams: Islamabad United: Shane Watson, Mohammad Irfan, Brad Haddin, Sharjeel Khan, Imran Khalid, Kamran Ghulam, Umar Amin, Sam Billings Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Babar Azam, Andre Russell, Misbah-ul-Haq, Samuel Badree, , Rumman Raees, Amad Butt, Saeed Ajmal, Hussain Talat Ashar Zaidi, Umar Siddiq
Quetta Gladiators: Kevin Pietersen, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Luke Wright, Elton Chigumbura, Sarfraz Ahmed Zulfiqar Babar, Umar Gul, , Bilal Asif, Asad Shafiq, , Mohammad Nawaz, Saad Nasim, Mohammad Nabi, Akbar-ur-Rehman, Bismillah Khan, Kumar Sangakkara, Rameez Raja jnr. Aizaz Cheema
Where to watch live
The first match of the Pakistan Super League -- Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators â€“ is scheduled for 8pm local time (9:30 pm IST, 9 pm PKT, 4pm GMT) start. Unfortunately there is no live TV coverage in India.
Viewers in Pakistan can watch the -- Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators live on PTV Sports, Ten Sports and Geo Super with the live streaming online option on PTV Sports Live.
OSN will broadcast the Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators live in UAE.
UK viewers can watch the first match of the Pakistan Super League on Prime TV with live streaming on Prime TV Online.
Viewers from around the world can also live stream the match on Cricketgateway.