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Pulwama aftermath: No lavish IPL opening ceremony this year, funds allocated will go to martyrs’ families

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Updated: February 22, 2019 6:10:04 PM

Last year, Bollywood stars had set the Wankhede Stadium to fire on the occasion of IPL opening ceremony.

The opening ceremonies of the cash-rich T20 league are a heady mix of glitz and glamour with performances by Bollywood stars being the highlight. (File/PTI)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) will not have an opening ceremony this year and the allocated money for the event will be sent to the families of the CRPF personnel martyred in the Pulwama terror attack. The decision was announced after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running Indian cricket on Friday decided to abandon the plan for this year.

The opening ceremonies of the cash-rich T20 league are a heady mix of glitz and glamour with performances by Bollywood stars being the highlight. The CoA took the call as a mark of respect to the slain CRPF men and decided to scrap the ceremony for the event’s 12th edition beginning March 23.

“We will not have any inaugural function for the IPL and the money budgeted for that goes to the martyrs’ families,” said Committee of Administrators chairman Vinod Rai.

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Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL opener on March 23.

Last year, Bollywood stars had set the Wankhede Stadium to fire on the occasion of IPL opening ceremony. Hrithik Roshan, Prabhu Deva, Tamannah Bhatia, Mika Singh, and Varun Dhawan had rocked the stadium with their emphatic performances.

The Vinod Rai-led CoA also decided against taking any stand on the World Cup clash between India and Pakistan but said it would individually urge ICC members to “sever ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub”.

The Pulwama attack took place last week and its reverberations are being felt in the sporting arena as well with calls to snap sporting ties with Pakistan.

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Rai added that the June 16 India vs Pakistan match in World Cup is very far away and a call will be taken following consultation with the government.

The CoA will write to International Cricket Council expressing India’s concerns about attacks and will underline that the security of players, officials and everybody else must be taken care of. Rai also said that they are telling the cricketing community that in future, we must sever ties with nations from where terror emanates.

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