BPL begins with glitzy opening gala

Samsul Arefin Khan | Published: 00:45, Dec 09,2019 | Updated: 00:56, Dec 09,2019


Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif perform during the opening ceremony of the special edition of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday. — New Age photo

The special edition of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League got off in a spectacular fashion with a gala opening ceremony featuring local and Indian artistes at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.

Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, who were the central attraction for the opening concert, entertained around 12,000 spectators by their dazzling performances with many other local and Indian artistes also performing in the ceremony.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who was the chief guest of the ceremony, inaugurated the tournament which is being held to commemorate the birth centenary of country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Hasina thanked the organisers for such an event and wished all the successes of the tournament in her short speech.

‘I will like to thank everyone who are present here. I hope that the programme will be a great success and hope everyone will enjoy the programme,’ she said.

‘I will also like to thank the organisers for this programme. I am also pleased to announce the inauguration of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League T20 2019,’ she added.

The programme, which was originally scheduled to start at 5:25pm, witnessed an half an hour delay and singer Moidul Islam Khan, also known as ‘dRockstar’ Shuvo conveyed the first performance of the ceremony.

Shuvo’s performance was followed by singer Reshmi Mirza’s short performance before prominent local singer James enthralled the audience with his singing.

Prime minister Hasina, who was scheduled to arrive at the venue at 7:20pm, reached the stadium at 6:50pm and took no time to deliver her speech to begin the main show. The declaration was followed by a splendid fireworks display which lit up the sky.

James resumed his performance after a 20-minute break and entertained the spectators with four of his famous songs titled ‘sultana bibiyana’, ’10 mash 10 din’, ‘alvida’ and ‘sundoritoma’.

Eminent folk singer Momtaz was scheduled to perform after the performance of James but the organisers dropped the segment and didn’t disclose any reason behind the omission.

Indian singer Sonu Nigam then came on the stage around 7:40pm and spellbound the audience with his melodious singing for around one hour. Sonu also sang two Bengali songs in his hour-long performance, ‘dhono dhanno pushpe vora’ and ‘shono ekti mujiborer theke’ which brought big cheers from the audience.

His performance was followed by compatriot Kailash Kher, who also delivered some of his hit songs. A laser beam show was held between their performances.

Katrina rocked the dance floor in Mirpur stadium when she came on the stage after 10:00pm and she was followed by Salman. Both the Indian stars earlier met prime minister Hasina at the presidential box of the stadium.

The five-hour long programme ended with the duet dance performance of Salman and Katrina.

Three Bangladeshi channels – GTV, Maasranga TV and News 24 live telecast the opening ceremony while Bashundhara Group sponsored the event.

The BCB earlier made around 8,000 tickets available for sale while rests of the tickets were distributed as complimentary.

They also arranged big-screen screenings in several locations in Dhaka and other divisions so that the spectators not present at Mirpur could also enjoy the event.

The main tournament will kick-off on December 11 with Chattogram Challengers taking on Sylhet Thunder in the opening match while Cumilla Warriors will face Rangpur Rangers in the other match in Mirpur.

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