New Delhi: Glitz, glamour and game. The opening ceremony of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament will see a lot of fireworks in Chennai — from American pop icon Katy Perry’s performance to Indian dancing sensation Prabhu Deva’s act to Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s poetry recitation.
If that is not enough, Bollywood stars Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and music band Colonial Cousins are geared up to set the stage afire.
“There will be good things, lots of entertainment and cricket. It’s the first time that such a large-scale, separate concert is being organised for the IPL, so big things have been planned,” Wizcraft Entertainment director Sabbas Joseph told IANS.
The performer line-up is impressive.
“Amitabh Bachchan will be opening the night. He will render a poem written by Prasoon Joshi. And Salman Khan will give the show a fitting finale…all performers will bring something unique to the show,” said Joseph.
Joshi says it was challenging to pen the verse.
“The challenge before me was to write in verse about the spirit of cricket. The poetry captures this spirit and makes a commitment that whatever one may do in life, one would always want to be connected to the game of cricket,” he said.
A huge highlight of the ceremony, to be held at the YMCA Grounds in Chennai, is pop icon Katy Perry.
The singer, who tied the knot with now estranged husband Russell Brand, in India in 2010, returns to the country to give her maiden performance at the ceremony. She is set to enthrall the audience with her hits like “Fireworks” and “California Gurls”.
“Katy will add a different flavour to the event. She is coming down April 2, but leaving almost in a jiffy after her performance,” said Joseph.
Another highlight will be Big B – he returns to work after two abdominal surgeries earlier this year. The 69-year-old veteran has been home ever since his treatment, and looks forward to step out for the event.
Contrary to recent media reports, Big B is unlikely to dance, clarifies Joseph.
A rare sight would be dancing sensation Prabhu Deva on stage. Other attractions include performances by Bollywood beauties Priyanka and Kareena, whose performances have been choreographed by Shiamak Davar and his team.
Stepping up the fervour will be music maestros Colonial Cousins, who will team up with international percussionist and composer DJ Ravi Drums and a group of talented percussionists known as First Project and local percussionists, d’Frens.
“Whether it is international tracks, the ‘Dhinka chika’, southern tracks or the dances…the combination from across the country is aimed at entertainment and entertainment,” said Joseph, who says the performers have been chosen on the basis of their profile and passion for cricket.
The fifth edition of IPL will be held during April 4-May 27. With nine teams and 76 games across 12 locations, it promises to be a treat for cricket fans. The captains of the nine participating teams will also be present at the opening ceremony, where they will take a pledge.
The tickets for the star-studded opening night are priced at Rs.1,500. And, needless to say, the organisers are expecting a “full house”.