Chief in attendance
In her favourite white cotton sari with green border, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was at the stadium even before the ceremony kicked off. She lit the inaugural lamp, and stayed till the last, smiling and appreciating all the performances.
Representing the BCCI were president N Srinivasan and Rajeev Shukla. They took the stage with the captains of the nine teams who signed the ICC spirit of cricket pledge “Play hard, play fair.”
Other eminent personalities present were former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, politician Arun Jaitley, actor Rohit Roy and wife of Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri. Mamata Banerjee was seen interacting with Shah Rukh during the performance of Bappi Lahiri and Usha Uthup. The feel of nostalgia filled the air when they sang old Bollywood hits.
While the glitzy opening ceremony might have amused the spectators, the media which was relegated to mere audience by the organisers, were a harried lot.
The organisers, who already had barred the participation of photojournalists, ensured the reporters covering the event had a torrid time. Made to sit far away from the stage, and the unruly crowd blocking the giant screens, the journalists barely managed to witness the event.
With laptops banned inside the stadium, the smart-phones were thought to be the saving grace, but they too were rendered incompetent courtesy completely paralysed mobile networks.
It seemed as if the cellular networks too had joined the organisers in harassing the media.
Rendered completely incompetent, most of the journalists had to rush back to their offices much before the show ended to try and cover the event watching it on TV.
If the harassment inside the stadium was not enough, the chaotic traffic outside the stadium added to the woes.