The stage is set for the seventh edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) to begin on January 27 at the National Stadium in Karachi with defending champions Multan Sultans facing off 2020 champions Karachi Kings following a curtain-raiser opening ceremony.

Babar Azam, who made the record for most T20I wins as captain in a calendar year with 20 in 2021, will lead Karachi Kings. Mohammad Rizwan, first-ever batter to score more than 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year, will lead Multan Sultans.

Babar in a statement issued by PSL, said: “I am very excited to be leading Karachi Kings this season. This is the first instance that I will be captaining a side in the HBL PSL and I am looking forward to it.

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“The first match of the tournament always has a lot of eyeballs and Multan Sultans can prove to be a tough opposition. I am sure the fans will get to see a thrilling contest.

“Peter Moores is a seasoned coach and I have had fruitful discussions with him. Karachi Kings will display good, competitive cricket this season.”

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While Rizwan said: “We have all the potential to defend our HBL PSL title and we will be taking the field tomorrow with that mind set. This season will present us new challenges and we will have to plan accordingly.

“Babar Azam is a wonderful batter and captain, and his leadership will certainly have a good impact on Karachi Kings. I am hopeful that the HBL PSL 7 will kick off with a great contest between the two sides.”