IPL Maximum cricket: Katy Perry joins star-studded opening ceremony which lives up to its huge hype


The one thing the Indian Premier League can never run out of is glitz and glamour.

The opening of the fifth edition was no different, as the multi-million dollar Twenty20 tournament proved once again that it doesn't need a Lalit Modi to provide the razzmatazz that has become virtually synonymous with it.

For the first time ever, the ceremony was held a day before the opening match, and the venue chosen for the event was the lowkey YMCA College of Physical Education ground here, rather than the MA Chidambaram Stadium, where it was held last year.

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U.S. singer Katy Perry performs during the opening night function and concert held at the YMCA College of Physical Education Grounds, Nandanam

U.S. singer Katy Perry performs during the opening night function and concert held at the YMCA College of Physical Education Grounds, Nandanam

But with a galaxy of stars descending on the ground, it was anything but a low-key affair, bookended as it was by the doyen of Hindi cinema, Amitabh Bachchan, and American pop star Katy Perry.

The other entertainers to take to the stage were Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, Tamil dance legend Prabhu Deva and musicians such as Colonial Cousins and percussionists 'Ravi Drums' and '1st Project'.

Fans had packed the ground despite the searing heat and humidity of the day and the long walk inside the college campus from the arterial road of Chennai, Anna Salai.

Chennai Super Kings¿ Doug Bollinger gives batting lessons to U.S. singer Katy Perry during the event

Chennai Super Kings¿ Doug Bollinger gives batting lessons to U.S. singer Katy Perry during the event

But they weren't disappointed, as Bachchan and his famous baritone kicked off proceedings by reciting ad guru and lyricist Prasoon Joshi's ode to cricket, 'Janm yadi phir ho mera to itni hi chahoonga main', which had been specially written for the evening.

The recitation was followed by a high-energy performance by the four bare-chested percussionists that make up '1st project'.

Priyanka's was the next act, and she was introduced while dancing to her famous number from 'Don', 'Aaj ki raat'. She then flew over the crowd while suspended by two cables before performing to another song.

Kareena Kapoor performs during the opening ceremony of the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League in Chennai on Tuesday

Kareena Kapoor performs during the opening ceremony of the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League in Chennai on Tuesday

She even got Rahul Dravid and Harbhajan Singh to shake a leg with her. Prabhu Deva understandably got the loudest cheer from the crowd, when he rose to the stage from between two virtual dancing images of himself.

Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni then walked on to the stage with members of his team, who were coaxed into a little dance by the vivacious Priyanka, before Kareena, a stunning vision in black and silver, took to the stage while a mix of her chartbusting numbers played in the background.

Kareena then grooved to her two latest hits, 'chammak challo' from Ra.One and 'pyar ki pungi' from Agent Vinod.

The cricketing bit of the IPL, which ought to have been more at the forefront, finally got its few minutes in the limelight when the captains of the nine franchises came on to stage to sign the MCC's Spirit of Cricket pledge, which was delivered by Bachchan.

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan also marked his presence at the gala opening cermeony on Tuesday

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan also marked his presence at the gala opening cermeony on Tuesday

Addressing the gathering, BCCI president N Srinivasan also declared that the BCCI would be implementing a one-time scheme, through which the proceeds of the four play-off games this season would go to over 185 former cricketers who have represented India or been major contributors to the domestic game.

'It is a small thank you to all those who have done service to Indian cricket,' said the entrepreneur, whose company, India Cements, owns the Super Kings franchise.

IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla also addressed the audience, expressing hope of seeing fans at the games this season.

And then, it was left to Katy to enthral the audience one final time on the night with her number one singles like 'Teenage Dream'.


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