"I cannot go ahead with the anthem"
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the removal of Ali Zafar from the PSL-9 anthem, which he was picked for in November 2023.
The news has left his fans from both Pakistan and India shocked.
Ali Zafar was questioned by a Pakistani news channel about the change of decision, to which he responded:
“After working on it for two months, hiring musicians and music producers at my personal expense, I came up with three different versions of the anthem for the PCB to choose from.
“After one of them was finalised and the release was being planned, I was informed by the PCB that I cannot go ahead with the anthem for reasons that I would not like to disclose at this point.”
His decision to keep quiet about the reason behind the PCB’s decision has made people speculate on their own.
Many of them believe that the change might be associated with his previous harassment allegations.
Ali Zafar and Meesha Shafi have been entangled in a legal battle since 2018. She had accused the ‘Jhoom’ singer of sexual harassment, which led to a divide in opinions within the entertainment industry.
Ali Zafar has gained immense success on his previous PSL anthems, and his removal has left fans disappointed.
One stated: “Everyone wants Ali Zafar to sing the anthem.”
Another said: “I’m sure the alternative will be pathetic.”
“We don’t want someone like Chahat Fateh Ali Khan or Naseebo Lal again!”
The controversy has affected the lives of both singers. Sources claim that it was a female PCB official who raised objections over the decision.
In a now-deleted poll posted on X by Ali Zafar himself, he asked:
“Do you think if I did the anthem of PSL this year, it will enhance the image of the brand of PSL and PCB, deepen the connection with people, and bring more financial benefit to all stakeholders?
“Be honest with your votes. I just want to see how the people of Pakistan think and what their wishes are vs a few individuals in positions of influence and power.”
The poll was posted on January 12, 2024, and Ali Zafar left a comment under it that read:
“I will explain later why I have posted this tweet.”
With the Pakistan Super League set to kick off on February 17, 2024, the PCB now faces the task of finding a replacement.
They need someone who resonates with fans and continues the tradition of delivering memorable music.