The Indian cricket board (BCCI) is unlikely to stage an opening ceremony for IPL 7 which begins in the UAE on April 16. The UAE government has planned a gala dinner on April 15 but there are no plans, like in the past, to bring in Bollywood stars or international pop icons to perform at the event. According to BCCI sources, this will ensure that cricket remains the main focus during the event.
“This decision to avoid a mega opening ceremony was taken by top board officials. The UAE government is organising a dinner along with an oath-taking ceremony for the captains,” a top BCCI official said.
Some IPL teams have endorsed BCCI’s decision to scrap a full-fledged opening ceremony. “Most of us are okay with the idea. Officially, we have not been told anything so far about the opening ceremony. So, we are given to understand that any event on a big scale is not happening,” a team official confirmed. BCCI insisted that this move is not as a moneysaving measure. “If the opening ceremony had to be organised, saving money was the last priority as the UAE event is not costing us much,” a BCCI official said.
Sources said IPL will pay the UAE board around $75,000 per match.
There is no word yet on a closing ceremony after the grand finale on June 1 at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.