India's new football league Indian Super League (ISL) kicked off on Sunday (12 October) in a grand note.
The opening ceremony was a star-studded affair as biggies from film, sports and business field marked their presence at the Salt Lake stadium, Kolkata.
The sky lit off with large display of fireworks combined with Bollywood music and dance numbers, thus making every bit of a colourful event.
The ceremony started by welcoming the chief guest, West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, who revived the tournament's slogan 'Let's Football' in her opening speech. Founding chairperson Nita Ambani, All India Football Federation president Praful Patel and businessman Sanjeev Goenka were also present at the event.
Bollywood celebs Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Varun Dhawan and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar were the star attraction of the event.
It was Ambani who declared the opening of the Hero Indian Super League while actress Chopra was honoured to introduce the eight participating teams. Audiences cheered and applauded as Chopra performed some dance moves from her films.
With 61 matches over the next 70 days, Former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly and Luis Garcia (Atletico de Kolkata), Parineeti Chopra and Alessandro del Piero (Delhi Dynamos), John Abraham and Ricki Herbert (NorthEast United FC), Abhishek Bachchan and Elano Blumer (Chennaiyin FC), Ranbir Kapoor and Fredrik Ljungberg (Mumbai City FC), Dattaraj Salgaocar and Robert Pires (FC Goa), Hrithik Roshan and David Trezeguet (FC Pune City) and Sachin Tendulkar and David James (Kerala Blasters) represented the participating teams.
Ganguly, who is the co-owner of Kolkata said that the league can be touted as the next biggest sport in a country, which is obsessed with cricket, according to a report in Hindustan Times.
The former national captain further stated that currently there are no stars in the ISL that can represent their respective teams, but will surely happen over time.
The organisers are hopeful that the league will trigger the country's passion for the beautiful game "Football".