Kashmir Premier League (KPL) is a twenty-twenty cricket league including six teams to start its matches today. Six teams that are part of KPL are Rawalpindi Hawks, Bagh Stallions, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Kotli Lions, Mirpur Royals, and Overseas Warriors. Kashmir Premier League is set to start cricket in the Kashmir region by providing opportunities to the local cricketers.
The opening ceremony and the opening match of the Kashmir Premier League between Rawalkot Hawks and Mirpur Royals were set to start on 6 August 2021. The schedule of the rest of the matches is set to be played from 7 August to 16 August whereas; the final match will be played on 17 August.
The matches are set to be played at the Muzaffarabad Cricket stadium with a heavenly view.
A biosecure bubble has been arranged for players to avoid the spread of COVID19. Strict protocols have been created and a practice schedule has been provided to the six teams to avoid crowding in the stadium. Similarly, separate timings for other activities i.e. breakfast, gym, etc. as per SOPs.
Kashmir Premier League Opening Ceremony
The KPL 2021 opening ceremony started at 6 pm with a beautiful view of the stadium and paragliding. Shahzad Akhtar (the CEO of KPL) and Arif Malik (president of SRG KPL) spoke at the event in the support of KPL and its future. He also thanked all people involved for making bringing KPL to reality.
President of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, was also present at the opening ceremony. In his speech, he thanked all the players and guests for attending the event. He emphasized that sports should be free from politics to help players grow.
Spectators were overjoyed and cheerful for the opportunity to enjoy the opening ceremony of the Kashmir Premier League. Supporters were waving flags of Pakistan, Azad Kashmir, and their respective teams.
Pakistani former cricketers, Wasim Akram (the vice president of KPL) and Shoaib Akhtar (peace ambassador) were also present at the event and appreciated the efforts and beauty of Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium. They were hopeful that the event will promote Kasmiri talented players and give them opportunities to learn from international players that participated in the event.
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Faisal Javed (senator PTI) and Shehryar Khan Afridi (Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir) were seen representing Pakistan at the event.
The trophy was introduced by the team captain, which was followed by playing the national anthem of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. Masuma Anwar Bangash and Asrar Shah gave a lovely performance at the opening event. The opening ceremony ended with fireworks that added to the aesthetics of the beautiful view.
The first match of KPL 2021 is set between Mirpur Royals and Rawalakot Hawks. Mirpur Royals won the toss and chose to field.
Amid the political rift between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, Kashmir Premier League gives a positive message to the region and promotes local talent. On one hand where India tried preventing international players from participating in Kashmir Premier League by warning them from their future engagements in Indian cricket. Pakistan seems to be giving a positive message to the regional forces by promoting cricketers in the region. Hope that Kashmir Premier League continues to grow and gives a message of peace in the region.