The Indian Premier League this year will have no curtain raiser entertainer. The Indian Premier League Governing Council, chaired by former India batsman Brajesh Patel, has reportedly decided to do away with the “waste of money”.
“The IPL opening ceremony has never made a commercial sense. No stake holder is in favour of an exercise which involves a huge effort, compliances and money and there is no significant return,” a former BCCI office-bearer privy to the development told insidesport.co. “Even we never felt it viable. Then it was felt to continue with a tradition as it would create some noise about the league. Today IPL is bigger in entertainment quotient than any entertainment show.”
The Committee of Administrators running the BCCI in 2018 had slashed the opening ceremony budged from ₹ 50 crore to ₹ 30 crore in favour of a symbolic curtain raiser hours before the league opener between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium. Also as an austerity measure, no other team was invited for the opening ceremony. Officially though it was stated that the teams can practice at their respective venues for the upcoming games.
The high ticket entertainment show this year (IPL 2019) was scrapped as a token of respect and tribute to the Pulwama terror attack victims and the money meant for the opening ceremony was allocated to the families of the CRPF Jawans killed in the attack.
BCCI’s newly-elected governing body now finds that even ₹30 crore is a “waste of money” as it did not help the sport or the board in terms of commercial gains.
“The opening ceremonies are a waste of money. The cricket fans don’t seem to be interested, and the performers have to be paid a lot,” an anonymous BCCI official had told national daily Indian Express.
The wisdom prevails after 12 years as the IPL Governing Council at its meeting on Tuesday among other decisions had officially ruled that there will be no opening ceremony to mark the start of the league next year.