IPL launched amid fireworks, laser show, acrobatics

April 18th, 2008 - 10:44 pm ICT by admin  

(Second Lead)

Bangalore, April 18 (IANS) The Indian Premier League (IPL), cricket’s richest tournament, got off Friday with breathtaking fireworks, laser show, acrobatics and foot-tapping music at Bangalore’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, setting the tone for the 44 days of high-voltage entertainment across India. Ahead of the clash between Bangalore Royal Challengers, owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders, the near-full 55,000-capacity stadium reverberated to popular Hindi songs sung by film music composer Shankar Mahadevan with Ehsaan and Loy giving him company.

Mahadevan began with a Sanskrit chant and then slipped into “Jhoom Barabar”-mode in no time to the loud cheers from the audience that had begun lining up at the stadium from noon itself for the show that began at 6.30 p.m.

After the entertainment, the captains of the eight teams Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, M.S. Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, V.V.S. Lakshman, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Shane Warne signed a pledge to play the game in the spirit of cricket.

Indian cricket board president Sharad Pawar said the entire world was watching the event as it was unfolding here and would be played in seven other cities. The IPL will be great opportunity for many more youngsters to shine in the game of cricket, he said.

IPL chief Lalit Modi declared the game open.

Earlier, Charu Sharma, chief executive officer of Royal Challengers, set the tone for the music and dance show with a ‘Welcome to Bengaluru’ greeting.

Ten Washington Redskins cheerleaders in blue shorts and tops trooped in, welcomed by the audience.

Women on four-feet stilts, eight in all white and four each in the teams’ colours, dancers in air bubbles and eight acrobats held the crowd enthralled with their skills.

The sporting crowd kept their spirits up with continuous cheer and deafening roar.

A breathtaking laser show with golden yellow, green, blue beams in various formations and a burst of fireworks topped the show as four acrobats glided down to the pitch from top of the stadium.

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