Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Colourful ceremony kicks off IPL-4

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Chennai: It was lights, camera and action at the decked up MA Chidambaram Stadium, the home of champions Chennai Super Kings, here on Friday as the 2011 Indian Premier League was accorded a royal welcome. In less than a week after the World Cup, the clear skies over the city lit up with fireworks and the artists entertained a packed gathering during the opening ceremony.

Massive crowds converged on the refurbished stadium well ahead of the 6.30 pm opening ceremony that was compered by former India player and television commentator Ravi Shastri. The sell-out crowd seemed to enjoy every moment of the hour-long programme.

Percussionist Taufiq Qureshi set the drums rolling with a couple of renditions, and was followed by popular singers Sona Mohapatra, Canadian-Indian Kunal Gunjanwala and Sunidhi Chauhan, who all belted out the hit numbers that turned the stands into impromptu dance floor.

The hot and humid conditions relieved by spells of sea breeze added to the frenzy that Shastri did well to whip up in between the performances, some of which were marked by oomph. No doubt, the star of the evening was Bollywood king Shahrukh Khan who opened with the massively popular Chak de, India! that has almost become an iconic number played at sports arena across the country.

The crowd went wild thereafter when SRK mimicked Tamil superstar Rajnikanth, speaking the local lingo with surprising fluency. He was then joined by cine heroine Shreya Saran for a popular “hot” dancer number followed by a couple of other songs.

BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who declared the tournament open, hoped the Twenty20 tournament would provide the breakthrough for many domestic players eager to make a mark in the international arena. The IPL has become bigger this time with the two new franchises Kochi Tuskers and Pune Warriors competing alongside eight existing teams in the 51-day tournament. (IANS)

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