IPL 2017 set for a short but sizzling opening ceremony

Mumbai: The trend in recent times has been to give 2017 Indian Premier League opening ceremonies a separate day with the first matches starting only the next day.
In the first few editions in India — 2008, 2010 and 2011 — the organizers held it on the day of the opening match. However, that changed post 2011 as the organizers looked to cash in on the glitzy ceremony by holding it a day in advance. With the Olympic-size event long and featuring mega stars from cricket and Bollywood, the IPL managed to sell separate tickets for it at a premium.
Those held abroad, South Africa in 2009 and UAE in 2014, were also staged a day in advance.
However, when the 10th edition of the IPL gets underway on April 4, the opening ceremony will be a surprise, an official suggested. The surprise could be that it’ll last all of 24 minutes!
Starting at 6.30 pm, it’ll go on till 6.54 before the players are brought in for warm up. Such short ceremonies will be the case in all the other seven venues.
According to IPL officials, this has been done to provide fans at every venue an opportunity to witness the ceremony live.
Generally superstars have attended the opening ceremonies in the past. This time the stars present will be of lesser stature. Amy Jackson, a British actress who works in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi movies will be the star attraction while at other venues too, there won’t be anyone really big with Tiger Shroff, Parineeti Chopra, Shraddha Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh performing.
The board had very little time due to the tussle with the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel and the Committee of Administrators.
Generally, the planning for the opening ceremony takes place 4-6 months in advance. But just a month-and-a-half back, BCCI was working out the modalities, issuing guidelines for bids to organize the opening ceremonies.
The subdued ceremonies also reflect monetary issues the BCCI is faced with. While the previous ceremonies would require mega bucks and would be an event on their own, this time they have been clubbed with the opening match to form a package to pull in the crowds.
Only a part of the ground has been marked for the ceremony, where the stage has been set, ensuring the pitch and the playing area is not affected.

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