When it is the Indian Premier League, how can Bollywood be far behind? According to reports, a clutch of Bollywood stars, a mix of the current and the not-so-old, will dazzle a day before the tournament officially kicks off in Abu Dhabi on April 16.
Madhuri Dixit, Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone will headline a galaxy of stars who will either dance or mix with guests at a private pre-IPL dinner party in Abu Dhabi on April 15. According to Gulf News, while Madhuri will be the 'official' performer of the night, Deepika, Shah Rukh's co-star in Happy New Year, will also be present.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India is yet to reveal details of the IPL opening ceremony. Defending champions Mumbai Indians will play former champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the first match of the tournament. The first leg of IPL will be played in UAE till April end. The Indian leg begins May 2.
The IPL was shifted to UAE because the tournament clashed with the general elections. The sports ministry has asked the BCCI why UAE has been selected as a venue ahead of more "regular" international venues. South Africa hosted the tournament in 2009 when the elections clashed with the matches.
The government has also asked the BCCI what measures it has taken to curb illegal activities like betting and match-fixing. Sharjah, one of the three venues that will host IPL 2014 matches, was blacklisted in 2000 as a venue after the match-fixing scandal broke.
IPL 2013 has been marred by betting and match-fixing charges against team officials and players. The matter is still being heard at the Supreme Court.