The star-studded mega opening ceremony of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) powered by Bashundhara Group got underway on Sunday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium amid fanfare.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the tournament with the nearly six hour long program that was graced by leading entertainers from home and abroad.
Three private TV channels telecast the program live from SBNS. They are News24, Gazi TV and Massranga TV.
There was huge excitement across the stadium premises from last week to be part of the opening ceremony and the way it panned out only proved that their wait was worthwhile.
The security in and around the SBNCS was tightened since early on the day. Fans flocked to the ground to make sure they did not miss a bit of the party that was possible only due to the financial backing of Bashundhara.
PM Sheikh Hasina arrived at the show at 6:50 PM and declared the opening of the BBPL by switching a button that set off the spectacular fireworks announcing the start of the much-awaited BBPL which mesmerised the crowd present. Many more viewed it on TV channels like NEWS24.
The portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was flashed on the giant screen during the firework that lasted for five minutes 10 seconds.
The premier spoke briefly before officially announcing the start of BBPL.
Bashundhara Group chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir and Vice-Chairman Safwan Sobhan Tasvir attended the BBPL opening ceremony.
The show was hosted by Hasan Abidur Reza Jewel and the songwriter cum singer anchored in his traditional style.
D Rock star Shuvo was the first performer of the show and he paid tributes to ailing singer Andrew Kishore by singing his famous number- dak diyacen doyal amare.
However the show came to life when rock singer James blasted the loudspeakers with some of his famous old numbers that kept the crowd going through the memory lane.
Ten giant screens were placed in and around the stage to host one of the biggest shows of this era in Bangladesh to mark the birth anniversary of Bangabandhu.
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif were the main attraction of the ceremony while the performance of some local singers was also note worthy.
The program was set in two parts with Bangladesh star singers ruling the roost in the first part, while entertainers from Bollywood enthralled the crowd in the second part.
The tournament proper, with participation of seven teams, will however roll into the ground from Wednesday at the home of cricket in Mirpur.
Bollywood superstars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif were the center of attraction in the gala opening of the BBPL. They entertained an audience of around 12,000 by their dazzling performances with many other local and Indian artistes.
The programme was divided into two parts. Bangladeshi star singers performed in the first part while entertainers from Bollywood enthralled the crowd in the second part.
Bangadeshi folk singer Momtaz was scheduled to perform after James but the organisers dropped the segment for reasons unknown.
Indian noted singer Sonu Nigam came on the stage around 7:40pm and held the audience spellbound with his melodious singing. Sonu also sang two Bengali songs ‘dhono dhanno pushpe vora’ and ‘shono ekti mujiborer theke’ in his hour-long performance.
His performance was followed by compatriot singer Kailash Kher who delivered some of his hit songs. A laser beam show was also witnessed between their performances.
Katrina rocked the dance floor at Mirpur stadium when she came on the stage after 10:00pm. She was followed by Salman. Both the Indian stars earlier met the Prime Minister at the presidential box of the stadium.
The five-hour long programme ended with the duet dance performance of Salman and Katrina. They danced together in their hit ‘swag’ song.
The BBPL cricket tournament will roll into the ground at Mirpur stadium from Wednesday.