Mumbai, April 7: The wait for the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) bandwagon to hit the stands is over! As always the cricketing extravaganza was kicked off with a glitzy opening ceremony. The Wankhede stadium was draped in shades of blue and a dash of yellow, with some of the top Bollywood names setting the stage on fire.
The ceremony was kicked off on Saturday with the presenter introducing the dignitaries - IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla, COA member Diana Edulkee, BCCI members Amitabh Chaudhry, Anirudh Chaudhary and acting president CK Khanna.
Following this, Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan kicked off the glitzy event, dancing to his favourite tunes. With the stadium slowly filling up and the mood set for a party, actor Prabhu Deva set the stage on fire next. What followed was a dance off between the duo. Dancing legend Prabhu Deva was a treat for the eyes as the stadium filled up for the inaugural match.
With the mood set for the event, the video showing the player's pledge was next on the agenda. The Spirit of Cricket pledge has always been an integral part of the opening ceremony. On the day of the opening ceremony, all the captains of the franchisees come together at one platform to sign the Spirit of Cricket pledge. But due to logistical issues the eight captains was not present at the stadium.
We've won all the three titles for this wonderful crowd here. Looking forward to starting this tournament on a good note - @mipaltan Captain @ImRo45 ahead of tonight's opening game. pic.twitter.com/peSEb4422G— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 7, 2018
On Friday, a day prior to the opening ceremony, all the captains came together to sign the pledge and the recording of that was played at the Wankhede. The only two captains present at the stadium was Chennai Super Kings' skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Mumbai Indians' captain Rohit Sharma.
Following the pledge, defending champions skipper Rohit Sharma was introduced on the stage. The Mumbai captain, the most successful IPL captain, welcomed the crowd and said that the champs would like to kick off with a win. "Hello Mumbai. All three titles we have won is because of the crowd and we will try our best to win it back this year. But we know that it won't be easy. Tonight its going to be an exciting game and we are looking forward to start this tournament on a winning note"
From thereon the fans were treated to more dance and music as Tamannaah Bhatia, Mika Singh and Jacqueline Fernandes took to the stage to make the event a truly glamourous one. And who better to bring down the curtains on the glitzy event, but Bollywood's greek god, Hrithik Roshan. Dancing to some of his hit songs, the Dhoom star enthralled fans at the Wankhede. The final flourish saw all the performers take to the stage and shake a leg together to end the opening ceremony of the 11th edition of the IPL.
In the first match of the 11th edition, defending champions Mumbai will lock horns with two-time champions Chennai, who are returning after a two-year ban. The match will kick off at the Wankhede at 8:00pm.
Channels: The Event will be telecast Live on StarSports 1/HD1, StarSports 3/HD3. Starsports Tamil will also telecast the event live. A total of 12 channels will telecast the entire event. HotStar.com will stream it Live.
Venue: Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai