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Cricketainment in full bloom at grand finale

IPL lives up to the hype as curtains are dropped on the 44-day razzmatazz with a breathtaking closing ceremony at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai, reports KR Guruprasad.
Hindustan Times | By KR Guruprasad, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 03, 2008 08:10 AM IST

Cricketainment IS the diet India has been living on in the last month and a half. And the cricket-crazed country were left asking for more as curtains came down on the inaugural IPL. The closing ceremony, which was, quite aptly, held in the entertainment capital of the country, saw film stars perform to a few chart-toppers. Salman Khan, Amrita Arora, Shamita Shetty, Sonali Kulkarni, Dia Mirza all added colour to the picturesque Dr DY Patil Stadium. The show also saw a laser show, performers on trampoline etc, acrobats on German wheels, and paragliders, who came down to a loud cheer from the packed stands here.

The lights were switched off for the laser show, and the darkness was pierced as designs in light beams engulfed the stadium. About 40 giant flames along the boundary ropes added to the grandeur of the event.

The IPL has given cricket fans here something to look forward to other than the international cricket. The tournament has shattered set beliefs that city based fan following is not going to work in cricket.

Chennai supporters have loyally donned yellow, while Jaipur fans are proud in blue. Likewise for other teams too. And when both the semi-finals and the final were sold out despite the absence of home team Mumbai, it was ample proof that T20 has caught the imagination of the nation.

"IPL has given cricket fans eight teams more to support other than the Indian team," IPL commissioner and the brain behind the league, Lalit Modi said addressing the spectators on Sunday. "I thank millions of fans for making it a great success."

Cricket was married to entertainment to get more people especially women get involved with the game. It was aimed at attracting eyeballs away from the hugely popular soaps on the telly.

"Many families in India have sat together and watched IPL games," BCCI president Sharad Pawar said. "It has given a golden opportunity to so many young Indian players. I thank the ICC for having accepted the IPL and the support they have given to this concept." As the music died down, nothing could have symbolised Cricketainment better than this sight.

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