A spectacular mix of Bollywood and performances by International stars were the highlights of a glittering opening ceremony which set the ball rolling for the fifth edition of the IPL.
Pop star Katy Perry and South African percussion band First Project lent an international flavour to a gala opening ceremony in which Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor performed a variety of song and dance programs.
India’s dancing sensation and Chennai’s own Prabhu Deva burned the dance floor with his power-packed performance.
The opening Nite then saw the oath taking ceremony by the skippers of the nine teams as they signed the MCC Spirit of Cricket pledge.
“IPL has grown from strength to strength and has established itself as a premiere tournament. BCCI is extremely proud of this achievement,” said BCCI president N Srinivasan.
“But who is the cause, first the commitment of the players both international and domestic, who participated in the event, the enthusiasm of the franchises and assistance of the supporting stuffs and the cricket fans in India and around the world have contributed to its great success.
“We expect IPL V to be no less.”
“We have not forgotten who played for us. The BCCI will give an one-time opportunity to cricketers who have graced Indian cricket — International cricketer as well as domestic cricketers who played from a long time.
“Over 185 players will be benefited from it and we will start the distribution from this year. It is a small thank you from us to those who have done yeoman service to Indian cricket.”
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla announced the tournament open, saying: “It gives me a great pleasure to flag off the fifth edition of the DLF Indian Premier League, an arena where quality international and domestic cricketers take part in intense contest of strategy and skill.
“IPL is a platform where talent meets opportunity.”
Two-time defending champion Chennai Super Kings play Mumbai Indians in the season-opener in Chennai tonight.