The eleventh edition of the IPL will be restricted to having just a single opening ceremony unlike last year where one was held in each of the eight home venues of the franchises. The BCCI have already allocated a budget of Rs 50 crore-augmented from the Rs 30 crore laid out for the last edition which was divided between the eight centres-for what they expect to be a grand opening ceremony on April 6, a day before the first match of the tournament in Mumbai. The IPL governing council decided to increase the budget, by what is a significant margin from Rs 3.5 crore per opening ceremony to Rs 50 crore for one, in a bid to provide the build-up event to the IPL with some internationally starry flavour.
“The IPL GC has taken decision to increase the IPL budget to 50 crore. The BCCI felt in order to make it grand we will be needing stars from around the world. And if you want world stars to perform then you need the necessary budget. The Board has decided to do away with having an opening ceremony in each of the eight venues and have a grand event this time around,” sources in the BCCI told The Indian Express.
The IPL is no stranger to having global superstars performing on its stage. From pop stars Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to rock legend Bryan Adams not to forget the likes of Pitbull and Akon, the IPL opening ceremony has been a glitzy affair. The multiple opening ceremonies last year though were limited to having Bollywood celebrities on stage.
IPL makes Lucknow debut
Meanwhile, Lucknow’s Ekana Cricket Stadium is likely to get a few IPL games with Delhi Daredevils having agreed to play in the newly built stadium. The venue had earlier hosted Duleep Trophy games this season with the pink ball. The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association is learnt to be keener to host games in Ekana than at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium. “Lucknow’s new stadium has all the world-class facilities and it is a more convenient venue logistically too,” a source informed.