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IPL opening ceremony: Pomp before the ~~thump~~

Published: Friday, April 18, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
 
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Bangalore: 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 pompous opening ceremony at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here 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 furthering 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 trance. This mind blowing 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.

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