If the special ceremony of hosting the first ever Test Match against England last year and marked the most memorable moment for the Saurashtra Cricket Association and its governing body, the opening ceremony too witnesses the extravagant event on the turf of Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium and making every one proud.
The season's first match of The Gujarat Lions of the 10th edition of IPL,marked a special occasion in Rajkot, as the IPL committee and BCCI has decided to host the eight opening ceremony on the host venue of the owner of the eight teams.
Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot being the host venue of the The Gujarat Lions,saw some of the most colorful and starry sequences in front of strong crowd and presented some of the most memorable musical sequences which is not witnessed on any ground in Rajkot.
The 30 minutes showdown witnessed Bollywood composers Sachin-Jigar headlining the opening ceremony of Indian Premier League (IPL) in Rajkot ahead of the match between Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders.The 25 thousand strong crowd at the stadium were stunned to see the actor Tiger Shroff performing with all his dancing virtues on the famous songs of his own movies.
Just before the show, in a joint statement,both Sachin Jigar and Tiger Shroff said that,"We are putting together a carnival-like performance which we have never done before. We will be inculcating a lot of Gujarati culture and tradition in our act, which will be in sync with the spirit of this year’s IPL. We would also love to give a chance to local talent- musicians and dancers and be a part of our performance crew.”And it was exactly like that as hundred of local dancers from Rajkot City got their lifetime opportunity to perform with the celebrities on truly international platform.
In fact the local artists got the chance to move their legs with Tiger Shroff,the new heartthrob in the world of Bollywood. When the song "Aaa raat bhar" being played crowd roared as they believe that Tiger Shroff was at his best and many were just discussing that Tiger is better than Hrithik Roshan.
The Opening ceremony started by performance of Bhumi Trivedi, notable singer of Indian cinema, followed by Sachin-Jigar’s performances and then by Tiger Shroff.
The event also witnessed both captain Suresh Raina and Gautam Gambhir were coming in a special designed battery car and were brought to the stage and were presented mementos to Play Hard,Play Fair The Spirit of Cricket.
Tiger Shroff too was introduced in a similar spectacular entry on to the stage.The actor himself carried a symbolic bat in his hand as well.
The 30 minutes event also witnessed the folk culture of Saurashtra at its very best.On the one side,there were some very colurful umbrellas to charmed the spectators ,which are very symbolic of the Tarnetar Fair. There were famous Garba raas too were performed which attracted the foreign players of the bot teams as they were witnessing the event form the pavilion place,The siddi community of the Junagadh District,with their traditional dresses too were the major attraction of the high five show witnessed by the Saurashtrians.
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijaybhai Rupani graced the occasion with his August Presence. He, alongwith Shri Rajiv Shukla, Shri Amitabh Choudhary (Hon. Joint Secretary – BCCI), Shri Niranjan Shah and Shri Keshav Bansal – owner of Gujarat Lions released balloons to mark the opening ceremony and the match at SCA Stadium.
If this was not enough,the crowd and atmosphere were charged up when the king of romance and owner of the KKR,Shahrukh Khan made his maiden entry into the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium.He was greeted by Niranjan Shah and IPL Governing Council Chairman Rajiv Shukla.
Shahrukh Khan came with his son AbRam were become the star attraction of the match.Not only him but his son AbRam was also seen cheering for their team in Rajkot on every ball and and every shots where the KKR were performing well. AbRam stole the limelight for quite some time and the focus of the spectators shifted to him from the match. The Badshah of Bollywood and AbRam were spotted sitting in the stands, with the former donning a KKR hat and son a white polo t-shirt.What also caught the attention were the glimpses of AbRam's new tattoo that is similar to his dad, which SRK is seen sporting for his character in the Imtiaz Ali directorial yet untitled film.
Shahrukh Khan was all happy with the team's performance too as they swept the match in the most convincing fashion.KKR who in fact lost both the matches to Gujarat Lions last year,won the toss but decided to chase on the batting friendly wicket.With the help of Suresh Raina's 67 and Dinesh karthik's 47 runs,Gujarat Lions posted 184 runs which was never enough against the strong batting line up of KKR.
In fact KKR didn't require another batsman also to enter the stadium as openers batting like a champions. Target was achieved in the 15th over itself. New batting sensation CA Lynn made a masterful 93 runs with 8 huge sixes and six boundaries as well. Gautam Gambhir too made very strokeful 76 runs to sealed the 10 wicket win. Later,the Man of the match CA Lynn said that its simple. I see the ball and I hit the ball.I was very comfortable with Gautam Gambhir and our running between the wicket too was very good and the way he too was batting,I realized that he is not going to allow me to complete my hundred but this 90 plus is like a hundred for me" After the match, Suryakumar Yadav while addressing the official press conference said that sending CA Lynn as an opener was decided well before the match and Gautam Gambhir had informed him also well before the match. Dinesh Karthik,the Gujarat Lions wicket keeper batsman,said that we were not quite upto the mark in the match. Karthik while defending Gujarat Lions bowler, said adding "It's very harsh that our bowlers didn't bowl well. He also defended Dwayne Smith, who gave away 23 runs in his one over and said "Dwayne Smith had done well last year for us but it was just a off day for whole team."
Though the home team,The Gujarat Lions lost the match against KKR but the cricket loving people of Saurashtra will not forget the starry performances and special gesture of Shah Rukh Khan who decided to take a round to the stadium to salute the huge crowd. The match and spectators also witnessed presence of other celebrities like Arbaaz Khan and Daisy Shah.
Memorable opening ceremony, memorable presence of Badshah Khan.
- By Suresh Parekh (Photo Courtesy : BCCI/IPL) More Photos