The much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 opening ceremony held on Tuesday at Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, was certainly high on glamour, but it could go down IPL history as the worst opening ceremony ever.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, whose production company Red Chillies Entertainment organized the opening ceremony, promised a spectacular show. However, the event fell way below expectations on a few fronts.
The event turned out to be like any another film awards event that included dance performances from celebrities. The event was all glam and less show.
The opening ceremony began with Shah Rukh reciting Rabindranath Tagore's poem "Where the mind is without fear", even as a troupe of dancers performed on the stage. Then, a huge balloon carrying a the IPL Cup descended on to the stadium and the cup was handed to defending champion Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir.
There was variety - flying drummers, dozens of Chinese percussionists, fireworks and acrobatic dancers - but the ceremony turned boring after being dragged for almost an hour before Bollywood celebrities took the stage. The lengthy flashback of previous IPL matches was tiresome.
A closer look at the event shows that there were fewer Indian elements than expected as most members of the dance troupes were foreigners. From the percussionists to the IPL Cup bearer, most of the performing artistes on stage appeared to be foreigners.
Moreover, the only time the audience could have a glimpse of their favourite cricketers was when Ravi Shastri called the captains of the nine IPL teams on to the stage to sign on an electronic board in the presence of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan and IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee attended the event but she was just a mere spectator, not uttering even a single word unlike the previous opening ceremonies where the head of the host state addressed to the audience.
Bollywood actresses Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif did manage to enthrall the audience with their dance sequences, but they certainly performed better at other functions. Katrina's golden outfit was with a blingy crown fell short of the intended royalty quotient and was a turn off.
Shah Rukh then took the stage, thanking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BCCI president, IPL chairman and the performers, before grooving to a lengthy medley of hit songs from his films. The usually energetic actor looked visibly exhausted dancing in the humid weather. He lost his breath after completing his dance sequence, taking a few minutes to introduce popular singers Bappi Lahiri and Usha Uthup to the crowds.
The visibly tired King Khan did rest for a few minutes before dancing in the background as Bappi Lahiri and Usha Uthup entertained their fans by singing to some of their all-time hit numbers.
Then international rapper Pitbull hit the stage and performed some of his biggest hits. Shah Rukh, Katrina and Deepika joined him towards the end before grooving in to "Gangnam Style".
If the first part of the ceremony was boring, the abrupt end to the ceremony won't leave a good impression on the audience. Shah Rukh did his best to entertain the audience, and he did, but overall, it was a themeless boring one.
Read IPL 2013 Schedule/Fixtures HERE.