However, the event at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium failed to attract a sizeable crowd in spite of the entry being gratis.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) styled league kicked off with Delhi Wave Riders hosting Jaypee Punjab Warriors but a lot of action was in store before the start of the match.
A light and sound show started the action-packed ceremony and was followed by an enthralling dance performance from a Ukrainian couple.
The next act was liked the most by the spectators. The special effort saw a female performing acrobats in the air with the support of a helium balloon tied to a rope rooted on the ground.
The captains of the five franchises — Sandeep Singh (Mumbai Magicians), Sardar Singh (Delhi Waveriders), V Raghunath (Uttar Pradesh Wizards), Moritz Furste (Ranchi Rhinos) and Jamie Dwyer (Punjab Warriors) — then took the oath to play in the spirit of the game. HIL chairman Narinder Batra in his speech said: “We are confident that HIL will be grand success. We have strived hard to boost the image of our national game.” Next up was the HIL anthem composed by lyricist Prasoon Joshi, music director Aadesh Srivastava and singer Sukhwindra Singh. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla and former India cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, were also part of the ceremony. The loudest roar came shortly after the ceremony and that was reserved for Sidhu, who was yesterday was named HIL’s brand ambassador.
Delhi beat Punjab 2-1 in HIL opener
Delhi Waveriders made a winning start to the HIL beating Jaypee Punjab Warriors 2-1 in the tournament opener at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here yesterday. Oskar Deecke and Gurvinder Singh Chandi scored for Delhi, while Roger Padros earned a consolation goal for the Warriors.