Bangalore awaits the clash of 'kings'

Cheerleaders from the US, film stars, foot-tapping music and a laser show will herald cricket's richest event in Bangalore on Friday.

updated: April 19, 2008 16:14 IST
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Cheerleaders from the US, Hindi and Kannada film stars, foot-tapping music and a laser show will herald cricket's richest event, the Indian Premier League, with Bangalore Royal Challengers taking on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Friday.

With two 'Kings' - the king of good times Vijay Mallya and the king of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan - owning the Challengers and Riders respectively, nearly an hour of glitz and glamour show will precede some serious Twenty20 cricket between the teams led by two former India captains, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.

The stadium surroundings bear the unmistakable stamp of flamboyant Mallya with gates named after liquor brands of his United Breweries group and colourful posters and banners showcasing the entertainment and excitement in store for over four hours Friday night.

Mallya has roped in DNA Networks, a Bangalore-based event management company that has brought several leading rock bands and pop singers and groups to the city, to organise the entertainment part.

A group of 12 Washington Redskins cheerleaders will be the showpiece of entertainment. The group has been in Bangalore for over four days practising steps to Hindi film tunes. The group has also been training some Indian girls to join them in the show, and plans to leave behind a fully trained Indian cheerleaders group.

However, with organisers going for ticket sales via the internet, missing is the usual scenes of hundreds of people queuing up from the night to be among the first to get the tickets when the counters open the next morning.

Following complaints about lack of publicity on ticket sales details, they were sold for a few hours at the counters two days back.

"We will be there tomorrow more for fun as we want to see the Bollywood Badshah," said Ramachandre Gowda, a 20-year-old college student, who was hanging around the stadium with his friends to catch a glimpse of Dravid and his boys.

"We have read reports that Preity Zinta also may be there for the inaugural. If she comes it will be that much more fun as she is bubbly and pretty," said Ashok Kumar, a 25-year-old techie.