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Kolkata decks up for first IPL match

The countdown will be over soon and the entire city of Kolkata is decked up for the first match of superstar Shah Rukh Khan-owned team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Kolkata.
IANS | By Sreya Basu, Kolkata
UPDATED ON APR 17, 2008 06:56 PM IST

The countdown will be over soon and the entire city of Kolkata is decked up for the first match of superstar Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Kolkata on Sunday.

"Being an actor, I have always thought every thing in larger-than-life perspective. Knight Rider's matches will also be no exception," Shah Rukh told IANS.

"At the Eden Gardens, where the matches will be played, we will exhibit two helmets, an 18-carat gold-plated and a diamond studded one, to show the other teams that we are the declared winners. The matches are just child's play for us," Shah Rukh said.

"I believe it's my duty to entertain people whether it's in films or in the IPL matches. Though I am not going to dance at the gallery, I will be present at the Eden (Garden). Rani (Mukherjee), Bipasha (Basu) and Kareena (Kapoor) have verbally confirmed their presence. With Kareena, now-a-days, we get a Saif Ali Khan free. So Saif can also be expected. I will personally try to convince John (Abraham) and Karan (Johar) to fly down as well."

Let the King Khan do his bit but Kolkata has already made its plans for the matches.

"We have arranged for a procession from Hatibagan in central Kolkata to the Eden Gardens. Twenty belly dancers will dance their way to the ground on a 16-wheeled container trailer," said Arnab Roy, joint secretary of Shah Rukh Khan Fans Club.

Roy said this is the first time in the history of the Eden Gardens that the supporters will enter the grounds with drums and play them at the gallery.

"We will also decorate the gallery with Knight Riders flags, banners and festoons. Shah Rukh has promised to help us deck up the gallery," he added.

Fans of Sourav Ganguly, captain of the Knight Riders, and Shah Rukh will arrange mass screening of all matches at selected places across the city.

Already golden-black hoardings and posters of the 'Knights', with their faces painted in gold and with determined looks, are evoking an air of excitement in all Kolkatans.

Ticket sales for the IPL matches began here Monday. Since then, there has been a beeline outside the Cricket Association Of Bengal (CAB) ticket counters.

"All the tickets for the first two Knight Riders matches, on April 20 against Deccan Chargers and April 29 against the Mumbai Indians, are sold out. I am sure tickets for the other five matches will also turn hot cake once Kolkatans get the taste of the first match at Eden (Gardens)," CAB joint secretary Amitabha Bandopadhyay said.

Of the 14 matches of the Kolkata Knight Riders, seven will be played at the Eden Gardens ground in Kolkata.

The first match of the IPL, will kick start Friday, with Knight Riders battling it out with Bangalore Royal Challengers in Bangalore with the war cry "Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo" (Do, Fight, Win).

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