The greatest festival in cricket is upon us. The eleventh season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just 23 days away. The IPL opening ceremony is often one of the talking points ahead of the tournament. This year though it will be missing the attraction of Captain’s signing the Spirit of Cricket pledge.
The IPL opening ceremonies are known for its pomp and glory. The last year’s IPL hosted as many as eight opening ceremonies with each happening at a different venue. One major attraction of these has been all IPL captains coming together to sign the Spirit of Cricket pledge.
This year, however, we learn that the ceremony will take place on 6th April, a day before the opening ceremony, at the Trident Hotel in Nariman Point. All the captains will then leave to join their respective teams for their opening matches.
The pledge signing will be recorded and it will be played out at the Wankhede stadium during the opening ceremony on 7th April. The opening ceremony was initially planned for April 6 at the Cricket Club of India, later it was shifted to Wankhede stadium prior to the first match.
The franchises have welcomed this decision of BCCI since this allows the captains to be present with the team on the eve of their opening encounters. Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore will be in action on the second day of the IPL.
An official added, “Having the captain’s pledge at the Trident Hotel in Nariman Point on April 6 means that all the leaders can go back to their respective teams before their opening games. With the opening ceremony now on April 7, having the pledge live would mean keeping Virat Kohli (RCB), Gautam Gambhir (DD), Dinesh Karthik (KKR) and R Ashwin (KXIP) away from their teams on the eve of their opening game on April 8. So, if we have the event in advance, they can happily strategize and make last-minute plans before the game.”