KARACHI - Carles Puyol, legendary Spain and Barcelona superstar, arrived in Karachi Saturday to attend the Pakistan Super League final and kick off ticket sales for World Soccer Stars 2019.

A galaxy of international stars will perform at the closing ceremony, whose chief guest will be honourable Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah. The ceremony will be hosted by one of the most popular anchors and singers, Karachi’s very own Fakhar-e-Alam. Spain’s football star Puyol will be a special guest at the closing ceremony. The Barcelona central defender earned 100 international caps and won the Euro 2008 and FIFA World Cup 2010.

The leading performers to display their talent include Abrar-ul-Haq, Aima Baig, Shuja Haider, Fawad Khan, Young Desi with the final performance of the ceremony by the heart-throb Junoon.

The PCB has also planned a spectacular fireworks display, which will start after the final ends.

All roads will lead to the stadium as fans are expected to start arriving well before 6pm when the closing ceremony will start before the first ball is bowled at 8pm. Those who fail to get a ticket will regret missing the electric atmosphere, with a star-studded closing ceremony in the lead up to the highly charged final.

“I bought my ticket as soon as they came online,” said Ashfaq Ali Khan, a businessman in Karachi’s busy electronics market. “I watch most of the matches in my shop, but for a PSL match and that too on a Sunday, I could not resist.”

Without a doubt, double World Twenty20 winning former West Indies captain Daren Sammy will be the star attraction. Since the inaugural edition of the HBL PSL, Sammy has become an official ambassador of the league.

So vibrant are his displays on the field and his emotional and loving words for Pakistan, its people and its hospitality that Sammy has become one of Pakistan’s own. “I am dying to get a selfie with Sammy,” said Rummana Salim, a student of  ‘A’ Levels in a local college. “I missed a chance last year, but this time I hope he wins the final and comes close to our stand. I pray that situation in our country becomes so easy going that we can go closer to the players and get autographs and photos with them. I am sure it’s around the corner.”

Australia’s Shane Watson is another player in demand, touring Pakistan for the first time in 14 years. “I want Watson to score a century in the final,” said Nelson Maseeh, who works in a television channel. “I am lucky that I took a selfie with him the other day in the team hotel. He was very caring and listened to me for five minutes.”

Fans have come from as far as Lahore, where three matches were scheduled this year but were shifted to Karachi due to logistical and operational challenges.

Once such fan in Chacha PSL, a newly formed character. “I took a train from Lahore on 8 March and have since watched all the matches in Karachi,” said Mohammad Iqbal, who wears a green Pakistan flag shirt. “People here are so caring that every day I get a match ticket to watch the match. This is a real tradition of Pakistan that people care about each other.”

When action will begin, both the teams will have support as they are equally popular among the crowd. While Peshawar’s yellow dominates the stands to create a “yellow storm”, Quetta’s purple is bright and attracts its fans.