New Delhi: A sparkling opening ceremony starting with a breathtaking laser show and ending with the hockey anthem sung by Bollywood singer Sukhwinder Singh opened the inaugural edition of the Hockey India League (HIL) here at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Monday.
Flood lights went off and colourful flash lights on top of the stadium turned the stadium into a spectacle, which was followed by a laser show that had a hint of India colours to it with saffron, green and white turning the stadium into a virtual tricolour. The laser lights then depicted the logos of five HIL franchises - Delhi Waveriders, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Mumbai Magicians, Ranchi Rhinos and Uttar Pradesh Warriors.
A breathtaking performance by a couple clad in all whites and with skates on then wowed the crowd. That followed an air balloon going up in the centre of the stadium and hung by it was an all lit-up performer that invited a loud cheer from half-full stadium. The attendance was actually very good for the openingn ceremony and must have encouraged the players and organisers going into the tournament.
Hockey Indian General Secretary, Dr. Narinder Batra, then honoured the franchise owners and dignitaries present for the opening ceremony. Sardar Singh took oath as the home skipper on behalf of all the team captains.
Breathtaking fireworks went off as Pawan Munjal, Managing Director of Hero Motocorp Ltd., announced the 2012 HIL open. The ceremony culminated with the hockey anthem 'Haath mein hockey man mein jeet, naye irado ka ye geet.' And as the floodlights came back up, the teams could already be seen on the field warming up.