Deepika fails to impress at IPL

MUMBAI: It was loud and it was an almighty dud. Let’s just hope the third season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) doesn’t go the way of the opening ceremony, which was downright ridiculous.

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi has often voiced his intention to make IPL bigger than the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Premiership and the National Football League (NFL), but current evidence suggests a long wait for the dream.

All smoke no fire

“The IPL is back,” boomed Ravi Shastri, at the opening ceremony, as he promised a spectacular show to spectators at the DY Patil stadium in Mumbai that was almost 40 per cent occupied when the show started. But, along the way, the promise was lost in translation as a host of artistes lip-synched the crowd to boredom.

British band UB40 kicked off the evening with their classic hit, I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. Their performance was followed by ABBA Revival, which was dull. Not even Deepika Padukone and her Bollywood hits could get the crowd going.

Light therapy

In a scene that looked straight out of a sci-fi movie, children swarmed the field and it seemed like they were lighting up like bulbs every few seconds. If that sounds like an engaging sight to you, then kudos to you. But, to the rest of us, it looked like a function that was without a purpose and theme.

Skipping a beat

The eight captains trooped onto the field to affirm their commitment to the spirit of the game. Adam Gilchrist, captain of the defending champions, was the first to sign the banner there. Sourav Ganguly was next in line and despite his smile, it looked like he had his mind on something else.

With his hair transplant in place, Shane Warne seemed fit enough to last for a few years more on the field.

As a first time skipper in a major tournament, Gautam Gambhir looked a little lost and nervous on the field. He was followed by Dhoni, whom, in his welcome, Shastri described as ‘Captain Cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the audience. Kumar Sangakkara and Anil Kumble looked super cool and Shastri didn’t even need to announce the name of the last skipper. Long before it was his turn, the crowd began chanting ‘Sachin, Sachin.’

After this, we weren’t sure if the ceremony could be termed a success, but one thing was for sure: we couldn’t wait for the game to start.