The much-anticipated release of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 Anthem, titled “Khul Ke Khel,” featuring Ali Zafar and Aima Baig, occurred yesterday, sparking a wave of reactions across the cricketing community.

As with previous years, the anthem’s debut has elicited a mixed response from fans, with opinions divided on Ali Zafar’s latest musical endeavour.

While some enthusiasts hail it as a perfect comeback for the renowned artist, others argue that he failed to recapture the magic of his earlier contributions to PSL anthems.

The anthem marks the ninth instalment in the PSL series, adding to the legacy of memorable musical compositions that have accompanied the tournament over the years.

As fans reminisce about past anthems and their impact, discussions arise about which anthems stand out as the best and which ones fall short of expectations. Here are we ranking the PSL anthems from best to worst.

PSL 2017: “Ab Khel Jamay Ga” by Ali Zafar

This is hands down the best PSL anthem, and arguably one of the best cricket songs ever. Ali Zafar’s electrifying anthem for the 2017 season captured the essence of cricketing excitement. Its catchy tune and powerful lyrics resonated with fans, making it a memorable anthem that still reverberates in the hearts of PSL enthusiasts.

PSL 2016: “Ab Khel Ke Dikha” by Ali Zafar

As the inaugural anthem of the Pakistan Super League, Ali Zafar’s “Ab Khel Ke Dikha” set the stage for the tournament’s grandeur. With its pulsating rhythm and motivational lyrics, this anthem ignited the passion of cricket lovers across the nation.

PSL 2019: “Khel Deewano Ka” by Fawad Khan

The first PSL anthem after Ali Zafar-era was met with mixed response initially, however, it certainly deserves a place among the best PSL anthems. Fawad Khan’s soulful rendition of “Khel Deewano Ka” captured the spirit of unity and celebration synonymous with the PSL. The anthem’s melodic composition and uplifting message resonated with fans, adding a touch of musical elegance to the tournament.

PSL 2018: “Dil Se Jaan Laga De” by Ali Zafar

Ali Zafar returned with another anthem, “Dil Se Jaan Laga De,” for the 2018 season, infusing it with his signature energy and fervour. This was the last anthem by Ali Zafar, before his comeback this year. The anthem’s spirited tempo and heartfelt lyrics reflected the unwavering commitment of players and fans towards the game.

PSL 2021: “Groove Mera” by Naseebo Lal, Aima Baig, and Young Stunners

“Groove Mera” brought a fusion of traditional and contemporary beats to the PSL stage, courtesy of Naseebo Lal, Aima Baig, and Young Stunners. Despite mixed reviews, its unique musical composition added a fresh flavour to the tournament’s soundtrack. This was a perfect song for the stadium atmosphere and over time people started loving it.

PSL 2020: “Tayyar Hain” by Ali Azmat, Arif Lohar, Asim Azhar, and Haroon

“Tayyar Hain” united renowned artists Ali Azmat, Arif Lohar, Asim Azhar, and Haroon to deliver a high-energy anthem for the 2020 season. While its collaborative effort aimed to capture the tournament’s excitement, it received a lukewarm response compared to previous anthems.

PSL 2024: “Khul Ke Khel” by Ali Zafar and Aima Baig

PSL 9 marked Ali Zafar’s return alongside Aima Baig for the PSL anthem for the upcoming season, presenting a spirited anthem encouraging fans to embrace the thrill of cricket. Ali Zafar tried to recreate his magic and added elements of his previous anthems in the song, however, it failed to touch fan’s hearts in the same way as his previous songs.

PSL 2022: “Agay Dekh” by Atif Aslam and Aima Baig

Atif Aslam and Aima Baig teamed up for “Agay Dekh,” the anthem for the 2022 season, aiming to ignite excitement and anticipation among fans. Despite its star-studded collaboration, it fell short of capturing the essence and energy of previous anthems. This song was good enough for a sports movie song, but could not provide the vibe it requires for a PSL anthem.

PSL 2023: “Sab Sitaray Humaray” by Shae Gill, Asim Azhar, and Faris Shadi

With an ensemble cast of new artists, “Sab Sitaray Humaray” aimed to bring a fresh vibe to the PSL in 2023. However, the anthem failed to leave a lasting impression, receiving mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. It is only a year since this anthem came out but most of the fans do not even remember its lyrics, which tells a lot about how unpopular this song was.

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