The ninth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) got off to a colourful start with a star-studded and glittering opening ceremony at the National Sports Club Of India (NSCI) here on Friday.
With a strong number of cricketers from across the globe, stars from the entertainment sector and other dignitaries filling the stands, the 120-minute plus programme saw the country's Twenty20 tournament take off in style.
The gala started when Bollywood actress and Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandez danced to the tunes of some famous numbers Yaar Na Mile Te Mar Jawan, Party On My Mind and Sooraj Dooba Hain along young boys and girls.
Then came a young and talented Kings United group and the dancers group from Nalasopara here showcased their skills and body flexibility to have the crowd mesmerised.
The performance was followed by former India cricketer Ravi Shastri inviting all captains of eight franchises in the stage to take the MCC's Spirit of Cricket pledge. All captains signed the pledge to maintain spirit of the game throughout the tournament.
IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla subsequently welcomed all the audience for the ninth edition of the competition.
"On behalf of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) I would like to welcome all for the IPL opening ceremony. IPL 9 will be better and best compared to other editions. IPL is not about just entertainment... it is about cricket all the way. Like the league has brought up young talents, this year will also do so. We will do all is needed to help the Maharashtra farmers and do everything in their interest," he said.
Next up, Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif danced to the tunes of her famous numbers Dhoom 3, Bang Bang, Afghan Jalebi Yaa Baba, alongside young boys and girls and was followed by a performance by none other than West Indies star all-rounder Dwayne Bravo who danced and sang his song Champio. He was later on joined by India's Ankit Tiwari.
Then came India's star rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh who entertained the crowd by singing his favourite songs like Mai Tere Laila O Mere Laila, Dum Dum Bum Bum, Love Dose, Chaar Botal Vodka.
He gave the stage to star actor Ranveer Singh dancing to his favourite numbers like Tattad Tattad Ramji Ki Chaal, Tune Mari Entry, and Malhari and then the much-awaited performance by musical group Major Lazer.
The last performance of the night was by American singer Chris Brown, who sang his heart out to make the evening a memorable one for the large number of fans and crowd gathered at the venue and seeing it from elsewhere.