The biggest festival of India aka the IPL 2019 starts today, with two of the strongest teams playing against each other - Chennai Super Kings (RCB) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Honestly, there couldn't have been a better way to kick-start the 12th season of the Indian Premier League, than pitting Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni against each other.
The ground at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium is gearing up to witness an epic match, as every cricket fan is now sitting in front of their TV waiting with bated breath for the clock to strike 8 PM, and people are gearing up to fill the stadium with chants of 'Chickoo' and 'Mahi'.
However, one of the most attractive events of IPL i.e. the glittering opening ceremony will not be happening this year.
In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, where the nation lost more than 40 CRPF bravehearts, the BCCI has decided to pay them a tribute. There won't be an opening ceremony this time, instead, a military band will perform at the stadium ahead of the first T20 match. In fact, the money budgeted for the ceremony will go to the families of the martyrs.
According to the Indian Express, an official close to BCCI said "It's about a 15 to 20-minute show which will happen. The band will perform just before the felicitation happens. The toss is being advanced by 10 mins." The official further added, "the game will begin at 8 pm and toss will be at 7:30. From 7:20 to 7:30 the Madras Regiment band will perform for the audience."
Reportedly, the Madras Regiment Band based out of Chennai will be performing at the stadium before the felicitation programme for the Indian Armed Forces.
The BCCI will also contribute Rs. 20 crore for the welfare of the Armed Forces. The captains of the 8 IPL teams have, in fact, pre-recorded a video message for the performance.