IPL 2024: Spectacular opening ceremony kicks off new season in style

Curtain-raiser sets stage for clash of titans as Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni face off in first game in Chennai

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The 2024 Indian Premier League season got under way with a spectacular curtain-raiser at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.

The opening ceremony saw a host of Bollywood stars join hundreds of performers to launch the new campaign in front of thousands of fans at the ground and many millions watching on TV.

Among the highlights was superstar singer AR Rahman performing the song Jai Ho, made famous in Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, before a spectacular fireworks display.

Earlier, Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff got things off with a bang as they rode a motorbike around the entire stadium waving an Indian flag.

They then performed a medley of hit songs including Jai Jai Shiv Shankar, Mast Malang, Main Tera Hero and Hare Ram Hare Krishna to huge cheers from the crowd.

The ceremony set the stage for the first game of the new campaign as defending IPL champions Chennai Super Kings prepared to face Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore [now Bengaluru].

CSK are now led by young opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad after Dhoni on Thursday handed over the captaincy reins.

Dhoni famously led Chennai to their fifth IPL title last year against Gujarat Titans.

Bengaluru's Kohli returns to action after taking more than two months off cricket for personal reasons. He missed the entire India-England Test series and, if he has a below par IPL, there is a chance of him not making it to the Indian team for the T20 World Cup, if reports are to be believed.

This year's IPL, the world's richest T20 cricket franchise league, finishes right before the T20 World Cup in June in the Caribbean and US.

Updated: March 23, 2024, 5:25 AM