Kolkata: It was an evening to remember for the people residing in 'Mecca of Indian Football' as a riot of colours lit the Salt Lake skyline with the much awaited Indian Super League (ISL) doing everything possible to strike the right chord with football aficionados.
ISL founding chairperson Nita Ambani (centre) declares the Indian Super League open as Sachin Tendulkar (right) and Priyanka Chopra look on at the Salt Lake Stadium. Pics/PTI
Touching the hearts of the football-loving crowd, chairperson of IMG-Reliance and founding Chairperson of Football Sports Development (ISL) Nita Ambani formally declared open the ISL.
Sachin Tendulkar with Amitabh Bachchan
"Ami Indian Super League er Subho Suchona Korchi (I declare the auspicious opening of ISL) — I formally declare the Indian Super League open," she said surrounded by a rare amalgamation of Bollywood and cricket and world football celebrities who represented the eight franchises.
The fireworks lit up the sky in a full capacity Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan to conclude a 45-minute opening ceremony as the 70,000 capacity crowd were treated to some eye-catching visual extravaganza.
Hrithik Roshan lifts Priyanka Chopra during the opening ceremony
Bollywood diva Priyanka Chopra was the highlight of the show as she made a grand entry with Bollywood chartbusters Tune Mari Entriyaan before welcoming the crowd in Bengali style — Kemon achen Kolkata!' Starting with Atletico de Kolkata, Priyanka called the team owners one by one on to the centre stage and quipped to Sourav Ganguly: "Dada chose to own a football team because he can remove jersey whenever he wants..."
Atletico de Kolkata co-owner Sourav Ganguly with Priyanka Chopra