IPL T20 bash kicks off with surreal ceremony

Published: Friday, April 18, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: Earlier, the skippers of eight teams featuring in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) signed the MCC's 'Spirit of Cricket" declaration so as to ensure the game played in the right way - hard but fair - during the the pompeous opening ceremony on Friday evening.

Sunny Gavaskar read the MCC document followed by the skippers nod to it with their signatures.

Earlier on Wednesday IPL joined hands with MCC in furthuring the latter's Spirit of Cricket initiative.

The DLF-IPL commissioner and chairman, Lalit Modi, said: "All cricketers playing in the inaugural IPL are role models for an entire generation of youth and it is crucial for youngsters all over the world to learn straightaway the values of this great game and the spirit in which it should be played. It is exciting to be associated with the MCC, which is the custodian of the Laws of Cricket."

The inaugural edition of the T20 bash officially kicked off here before the packed house tonight with a traditional recital from Gita and popular numbers from Bollywood movies by Shankar Eshan and Loy.

Sixteen stilt walkers, eight acrobats who performed gravity-defying stunts on ropes of silk, eight rapellers dressed in the colours of the eight teams skimmed down from the stadium roofs on super-thin wires and eight bubble dancers spinning and dancing in giant transparent bubbles left spectators in total trancel. This mindblowing acrobatics was followed by the performance from the Washington Redskin cheerleaders roped in by Mallya-owned Royal Challengers specially for the event captivated one and all.

The spectacular fireworks lit up the Chinnaswamy nee Bangalore evening sky.

The opening ceremony was concluded with IPL Chairman Lalit Modi declaring open the cricket's extravaganza.

B'lore send Kolkata in to bat: Royal Challengers skipper Dravid won the toss and elected to field in the inaugural Indian Premier League tie against Ganguly-led Kolkata Knight Riders at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday.

Royal Challengers miss the services of their ace bowlers Kumble and Steyn, who are down with injuries. Aussie all-rounder Noffke and T20 specialist Cameron White feature in starting line-up.


Challengers: Rahul Dravid (capt), Balachandra Akhil, Mark Boucher (wk), Wasim Jaffer, Sunil Joshi , Jacques Kallis, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Ashley Noffke, Cameron White. Coach: Venkatesh Prasad

Riders: Sourav Ganguly (capt), Ajit Agarkar, Debabrata Das, David Hussey, Murali Kartik, Brendon McCullum (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Ricky Ponting, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Laxmi Ratan Shukla. Coach: John Buchanan


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