The opening ceremony of the 2015 IPL is slated to be held on 7 April in the City of Joy, Kolkata. The gala event will be held at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan, known more commonly as the Salt Lake Stadium. Incidentally, the stadium, which will serve as the venue, happens to be a football ground and has hosted international friendlies involving India as well as Argentina, Japan, etc. One of the modern-day greats, Leo Messi, has graced the turf over here.
The stadium is capable of accommodating at least one lakh people, which makes it the largest of its kind in India and definitely one of the bigger stadia of the world. It is said that the progress and likeability of a sporting event depends a lot on how well its opening ceremony turns out to be. In this regard, the IPL opening ceremonies have always lived up to the billing as an event to watch out for. One hopes that the opening ceremony for the 8th edition will be no different.
The opening ceremonies of various editions of IPL have featured some of the biggest names from the world of entertainment such as Shahrukh Khan, Katy Perry and Ludacris. The upcoming event, too, promises a lot. To start with, Saif Ali Khan will host this year’s event. Known for his immense charisma and popularity as a host – he has hosted the Filmfare Awards twice with Shahrukh Khan – the Nawab of Pataudi could elevate the event to a new high.
Bollywood stars Anushka Sharma, Shahid Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan will perform in the evening. This will perhaps be the first time that Hrithik Roshan will perform in Kolkata after 2000. He has already tweeted how eagerly he is looking forward to the event. The performance of Anushka Sharma, who has had a glorious year so far with PK and NH10, will be highly awaited as well. This is perhaps the first occasion when Shahid Kapoor will perform in Kolkata.
On the musical front, Farhan Akhtar and Pritam will be regaling the audience with their respective bands. Farhan has already had a fantastic show the last time his band played in Kolkata. For music director Pritam, this will be a special occasion as he hails from Kolkata.
The event shall start at 7.30 pm and will go on for a couple of hours. The gates of the stadium will be thrown open to the audience at 5 pm. The skippers of the eight franchises will be there to sign the MCC Spirit of Cricket Pledge. This activity, where the captains promise on behalf of their teams to play the games in the proper spirit, has been the hallmark of this tournament. It also happens to be a unique aspect of the same. Gautam Gambhir, who will lead title holders and reigning champions – Kolkata Knight Riders – will officially hand the trophy back. That will be a signal that the 2015 season has kicked off.
It is expected that the BCCI dignitaries like Jagmohan Dalmiya, the President, and Secretary, Anurag Thakur will attend the event. N Srinivasan, the erstwhile President of BCCI and the present Chairman of ICC, will grace the event. However, Shahrukh Khan, the owner of KKR, will not be able to make it to the event.
The minimum price for the opening night of IPL 2015 has been fixed at INR 200. One can buy tickets online from iplt20.com. One can also get tickets from Gates 1 and 4 of the stadium. The event will also be shown live on Sony Six, the official broadcaster of IPL, and SET Max. People can also watch the opening night on Hotstar.