Special BPL set for gala opener

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Dec 08,2019


Preparations for the special edition of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League’s grand opening ceremony were underway at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Saturday. — BCB photo

The curtain of the special edition of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League will rise today with a grand opening ceremony featuring local and Indian artistes at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are the prime attraction for the opening concert that will also feature some of the best known local and Indian singers and artistes.

Nizamuddin Chowdhury, chief executive officer of the Bangladesh Cricket Board said that they were all but prepared to host the gala event and had divided the programme in two parts as it will be a six-hour long programme.

‘Our logistics and stage preparations are going on. All of you know that our prime minister gave her consent to be present in the ceremony and inaugurate the tournament. So we are taking some adequate security arrangements for that,’ Nizamuddin told reporters at Mirpur on Saturday.

‘We are expecting all the performers to arrive within today [Saturday] or the first half of tomorrow. It will just be a cultural programme…We have divided the programmes in two sections – before and after prime minister inaugurates the programme.

‘The players of all the participating teams are invited to attend the programme. But there will be no especial segments with them like we saw in other countries during the opening ceremonies,’ he added.

The programme will start at 5:25pm with some local singers’ performance. Later prominent local band singer James and folk singer Momtaz will perform on the stage at 6:00pm and 6:40pm respectively.

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina will arrive at the venue at 7:20pm and she will formally declare the tournament at 7:30pm. The declaration will be followed by fireworks for 10 minutes.

Indian singers Sonu Nigam and Kailash Kher will then entertain the spectators for nearly two hours and a laser beam show will also be witnessed by the spectators between their performances.

Katrina will rock the dance floor as she will perform on the stage at 9:35pm and it will be followed by Salman who will be on the stage at 10:00pm. The programme will end with a duet dance performance of Salman and Katrina.

Three Bangladeshi channels – GTV, Maasranga TV and News 24 will telecast the opening ceremony live.

The BCB earlier said they made around 8,000 tickets available for sale while rests of the tickets have been distributed as complimentary. They also arranged big-screen screenings in several locations in Dhaka and other divisions in order to help the spectators to watch the event.

Salman and Katrina are expected to arrive by 8:30am today, but their co-performers are already in the city, said a BCB official.

Bashundhara Group is sponsoring the opening ceremony.

Meanwhile the BCB announced satellite service provider company Akash DTH, the first ever Direct To Home service launched in Bangladesh by Beximco, as the title sponsor of the special edition of BPL.

The tournament will kick-off three days later on December 11 when Chattogram Challengers will take on Sylhet Thunder in the opening match while Cumilla Warriors will face Rangpur Rangers in the other match of the day in Mirpur.

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