IPL kicks-off with a dazzling opening ceremony
Mumbai, Mar 12 : The Indian Premier League (IPL) was welcomed back to its home with a dazzling opening ceremony, starred by some top entertainers like Lionel Richie, Ali Campbell of UB40's and Bjorn Again and Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone Friday evening.The cricketing quotient aside, fans were treated to an eye-catching array of global artists and entertainers. The opening ceremony started with the eight captains taking the "MCC - Spirit of Cricket" oath to respect their opponents. The captains also signed the Spirit of Cricket Board as an attestation to play the game within the spirit of cricket.
The opening ceremony was a breathtaking visual extravaganza and was also the most extensive hour of entertainment ever conceived and executed in India.
The evening saw a heady cocktail of entertainment with renowned star, UB40's Ali Campbell, performing the all-time hit song "Can't Help Falling in Love" supported by a troupe of dancers in colorful costumes.
Bjorn Again then took the center-stage to entertain fans at the stadium and at home with ABBA's super hit song "Dancing Queen" accompanied by 16 dancers in retro costumes.
The Bollywood segment then kicked-off with Deepika performing to a medley of "Tonight's Going to be Good Night" from the Black Eyed Peas, "Teri Adayein" from Karthik calling Karthik, and "Twist" from Love Aaj Kal, along with 40 dancers.
Hoola Hoop juggling artists then created the logos of the eight IPL teams using LED glow sticks and it was followed by a breathtaking laser show. 240 performers wearing LED costumes that glow in the dark then moved towards the center stage and create the chakra and its 24 spokes to symbolise IPL's return back home to India.
Percussionist then took the center stage, and transformed it with 12m high borne, inflatable screens rises to reveal some shadow performers perform a synchronised dance. As the shadow artists performed, the eight team flags was revealed in a theatrical fashion through wind machines. It was followed by a brief video collage titled "Journey of IPL" based on the IPL's glorious three-year journey to emerge as of the hottest sporting leagues in the world.
Legendary pop icon Lionel Richie then performed his hit single "Dancing on the Ceiling" as all the artists and performers converged onto the center stage to bring down the curtains with a spectacular fire-work.