IPL 2018 is set to kick start on April 7 but before the cash-rich league starts, Bollywood stars like Varun Dhawan and Hrithik Roshan are confirmed to perform at the opening ceremony. Meanwhile other names in Ranveer Singh, Parineeti Chopra and Jacqueline Fernandez have also been reported. But, Ranveer and Parineeti have both pulled out. The IPL 2018 opening ceremony will begin at 5 pm IST on Saturday and is expected to run for around ninety minutes in Mumbai and will end around 7:15 pm, 15 minutes prior to toss.
Ranveer who was closely linked with performing at the gala affair, had to bow out after picking up a shoulder injury. A statement released by him said, “After multiple medical check-ups, the doctors have strongly advised Ranveer Singh to not perform at this year’s IPL opening ceremony. They feel his high-energy performance would only strain his shoulder and aggravate the injury.”
“Parineeti was shooting non-stop for ‘Namastey England’ in Patiala and had back-to-back, pre-committed endorsement commitments. So, unfortunately, she did not have enough time to rehearse in spite of her best efforts,” the actress’ spokesperson said. “Being a thorough professional, Parineeti spoke to Wizcraft (show producers) and explained to them that she was not okay putting up a compromised performance. Wizcraft has been gracious enough to understand this and agrees with Parineeti. She would not be performing at the gala opening,” the spokesperson added.
While the Bollywood stars will lighten up the evening, on the other side, only two captains MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma will be attending the ceremony as the first match is scheduled to take place between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Mumbai Indians are the defending champions as they lifted the trophy for the third time in 2017. CSK on the other side are making a return back after they facing a two-year ban on themselves. CSK skipper Dhoni was the part of the Rising Pune Supergiant who ended their IPL 2017 campaign as runners up after losing to MI in the final.
The Indian Premier League earlier suffered a blow when Steve Smith and David Warner were found guilty in a ball-tampering controversy during Australia’s third Test match against South Africa. The skipper and his deputy were subsequently sent back home and were later slapped with one year ban each by Cricket Australia. They were also ruled out of IPL 2018. Smith was set to lead the Rajasthan Royals side that is making a comeback to the league after two years. Warner on the other side had to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad. England batsman Alex Hales was on Saturday named as Warner’s replacement in the Sunrisers squad.