Panchkula, Nov 30 (UNI) There was a non-stop three-hour entertainment for a packed 6000-seating Devi Lal Cricket Stadium here on Friday night.
The slam-bang versiion of the cricket tournament kept the spectators on the tips of their chairs, egging on the batsmen, the fielders and the bowlers of both teams, Chandigarh Lions, led by Chris Cairns and Delhi Jets, skippered by Marvan Atapattu, for thrilling affairs on the first day of the first show in the Zee Production Indian Cricket League Twenty20 Tournament, lebelled by Board of Control for Cricket in India as 'rebel' league.
It looks the spectators were not concerned what the BCCI think of the ICL, a venture of Essel Group. The stadium was packed and they enjoyed every moment. Besides cricketing activities, Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor enthrallied the spectators as she performed dance to entertain the crowd.
Union Railway Minister Lalu Yadav, General Secretary of Samajwad Party Amar Singh, Essel Group chairman Subhash Chander, ICL chairman Kapil Dev Nikhanj and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda were among those present on the occasion to make it a memorial show in the Rs 13 crore prize money, the highest ever in a domestic cricket tournament.
Denied the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium by the Chandigarh Administration, the Essel Group looked towards Haryana and Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) gave the stadium to the Essel Group on lease for ten years. Once even denied a Ranji Trophy match by the BCCI, the Essel Group worked day-and-night to give facel ift to the stadium. The pavilion has been extended, a new media box has been constructed, the floodlights have been installed, the pitch has been relaid under the supervision of experts, including a foreigner.Cameras at strategic positions were installed to telecast the match live on Zee channels.
Encouraged with the reponse from the crowd, Subhash Chander urged the Haryana Chief Minister to give them the Gurgaon Stadium.
Lalu Yadav described the Essel Group efforts a good move which will provide a platemform to the youngsters to show their talent. It is good feeling to be here, said Lalu Yadav.
Meanwhile, the organisers have got reponse from the sponsors.
The sponsors are Dish TV (Delhi Jets), TVs (Chennai Super Stars), Rishi Cements (Kokkata Tigers), Cotton Country (Chandigarh Lions), Rashmi Builders (Mumai Champs) and Bharat Students.com (Hyderbad Heroes).