Bangalore gears up for glitz, fireworks, deserted roads

April 18th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by admin  

Bangalore, April 18 (IANS) After a long time an evening drive in Bangalore’s central business district should be a pleasure Friday as two glamorous worlds of cricket and Bollywood launch the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament at Chinnaswamy stadium at 6.30 p.m. The first of the 44 matches begins at 8 p.m. and ends three hours later, preceded by a 45-minute glitz and glamour show.

It’s a state government holiday Friday for Mahavir Jayanti. With offices and banks closed, there won’t be the usual evening rush to head back home. And plans for an evening outing will be off as most residents prefer to sit glued to TV screens.

Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Kahn is expected to be the show stealer - just months after being told by some among the Indian cricket administrators not to use the cricket matches to promote his film(s).

His flamboyance, however, will find a match in liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who flaunts his love of good times with aplomb.

After getting the famed Washington Redskins cheerleaders to add to the glitz, Mallya and his event managers have lined up stilt walkers, aerial gymnasts, fireworks and a laser show to entertain the expected 55,000 capacity crowd at the stadium in the heart of Bangalore.

After the 45-minute show, organisers plan to make rival captains Rahul Dravid of Mallya’s Bangalore Royal Challengers, and Sourav Ganguly of Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders toss the coin under a spotlight with the rest of the stadium plunged in darkness.

Spotlights will trail the two former Indian captains as they make their way to the middle of the pitch.

Just by the way, the curators say the pitch is lively.

Dravid and Ganguly will be joined by the captains of six other teams to read a statement pledging that the Twenty20 Indian Premier League will be played in the right spirit.

The IPL has thrown up some interesting combinations.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting will not be facing Ishant Sharma who troubled him most in the recent Indian tour of Australia. He will be at the slip cordon as Ishant sends his quickies. Both are part of the Khan’s Knight Riders.

And Ganguly will be leading Ponting to the field.

With the talk that Mallya has reserved a substantial number of seats for his friends and associates, that section of the Chinnaswamy stadium will have the who’s who of Indian society adding to the glamour.

Film star Katrina Kaif has shot a music video to promote Mallya’s Challengers.

Cheerleading, originally an American concept, will make its full-fledged presence at the stadium.

The 12 cheerleaders promise a fusion of Indian and American styles of dance.

Indian dance experts have provided tips, particularly on gyrating to Bollywood tunes, to visiting cheerleaders.

“This fusion of dance backgrounds has created a new amazing style. I am really looking forward to the reaction of India towards the Redskins Cheerleaders,” Donald Wells, Redskins’ cheerleading director, said on the group’s website.

The Bangalore Royal Challengers team includes, apart from captain Dravid, Anil Kumble, Jacques Kallis, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mark Boucher, Misbah-ul-Haq, Cameron White, Wasim Jaffer, Dayle Steyn, Nathan Bracken, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Sunil Joshi, Devraj Patil and Vinay Kumar.

The Kolkata Knight Riders have captain Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, David Hussey, Akash Chopra, Murali Kartik, Ishant Sharma, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Ajit Agarkar, Mohammad Hafeez, Tatenda Taibu and Yashpal Singh.

The winner of the inaugural tournament will take home a whopping Rs.40 million. The last placed team will also be not badly off. It will pocket Rs.4 million.

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