Unlike the opening ceremonies of the previous seasons, the curtain-raiser of the ongoing 11th season of Indian Premier League (IPL), held hours ahead of Saturday's opening match against Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium, was a brief affair.
Right from IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla's opening speech to Hritik Roshan's crowd-pulling dance performance, every segment of the opening ceremony was fast-paced so much so that it seemed someone in the production room of the official broadcaster had pressed the fast forward button.
However, the much-publicized opening ceremony, it seems, failed to hold the attention of viewers, if Twitter reactions are anything to go by.
The one-dimensional show, despite involving big names from the Bollywood, has received mixed reactions from cricket fans in the country, who seemed to be restless for the action on the 22-yards between former champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings to begin.
What was the opening ceremony all about?
BCCI top-brass share stage
The curtain-raiser of the 51-day non-stop cricketing action began with Shukla declaring the tournament open.
The opening ceremony, as pointed out by cricket journalist Gaurav Kalra, saw the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) office bearers and members of the the members of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, who have been at loggerheads over various administrative issues, shared the stage.
IPL is the ultimate unifying force in India. Even the COA and BCCI officials they want evicted happily share a stage.— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) April 7, 2018
Prabhu Deva, Varun Dhawan bring out dance moves
Soon after, Bollywood superstar Varun Dhawan was on the stage, dancing to tunes of some chartbusters from the Hindi film industry. Things got spiced up when legendary Indian dancer Prabhu Deva joined the former and shook a leg to some of his memorable chart-busters, including AR Rahman-composed "Mukkabula" and "Urvasi".
Skipper of defending champion Mumbai Indians then graced the stage to put the IPL trophy back in stage. A recorded clip of all eight captains taking the pledge to uphold the spirit of the game was played on the big screen, inviting huge roars from the crowd at the Wankhede Stadium.
We've won all the three titles for this wonderful crowd here. Looking forward to starting this tournament on a good note - @mipaltan Captain @ImRo45 ahead of tonight's opening game. pic.twitter.com/peSEb4422G— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 7, 2018
Hrithik, Tamanna and Jacqueline shake leg to charbusters
Tamanna Bhatia and Jacqueline Fernandez added glamor to the opening ceremony by dancing to tunes from various film industries.
Bollywood singer Mika Singh though faced the stick from fans on Twitter, who believed he was not even able to lip-sync effectively.
Nonetheless, Wankhede went into a tizzy as Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan set the stage on fire with his unique moves. Following the energetic performance, all the celebrities danced to the tunes of the theme song of IPL 2018.
IBTimes India has compiled a list of reactions to the IPL 2018 opening ceremony. Check them out here.
Deva-Dhawan duo woo fans
Would never want a Prabhu Deva performance to end.— Shruti Chopra (@itstarot) April 7, 2018
Fans troll unidimensional opening ceremony, miss Salman Khan, Ranveer Singh
In its heyday, the BCCI would've airlifted Salman Khan from jail to the stadium for the #IPLOpeningCeremony— Gaurav Sethi (@BoredCricket) April 7, 2018
People in the stadium watching this opening ceremony pic.twitter.com/YJ7u7KYFQD
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) April 7, 2018
— Rasool (@imrasool) April 7, 2018
#IPLOpeningCeremony has gone from bad to worse to outright sad in the recent years!
— Shakthi (@v_shakthi) April 7, 2018
— Arsalan (@toruk_makto37) April 7, 2018
The best thing about opening ceremonies is bored-looking uncles in crowd shots.
— Karthik Krishnaswamy (@the_kk) April 7, 2018
Instead of this crappy song-n-dance show, had they shown a crisp 20 mins montage of the best bits from the last 10 yrs of IPL, it would have set the game.
Dunno how "Jumme ki raat hai, allah bachaye tujhe mere pyaar se" goes with Cricket. ?
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) April 7, 2018
— Ramiz Raja (@RameezzRaja) April 7, 2018
— R ❕ (@Inductiveberry_) April 7, 2018
— Onyetenyevwe Ugwemuhwem Osas (@iCommon_Man) April 7, 2018
After seeing Mika in #IPLOpeningCeremony i must say PSL > IPL
— A [Bajrangi army SRH] (@AnILogical) April 7, 2018
— Trusha Tungare (@trusha_tungare) April 7, 2018
Hrithik saving grace?
#IPLOpeningCeremony was going boring? and then hrithik entered?— Mock_Tale (@mocktale456) April 7, 2018