Pitbull, Bollywood stars welcome IPL6

THE BIG IPL ROUND-UP — New season kicked off at Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium.

Shah Rukh, Katrina and Pitbull

The sixth edition of the Indian Premier League kicked off today with its annual fare of dance, lights and music. At Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium, Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, music stars Bappi Lahiri and Usha Uthup performed before a packed house.

American rapper Pitbull took over after the Indian acts, creating a diversion for T20 tournament that has had a large share of controversies in the last month.

Earlier in the evening, the nine captains of the IPL signed the ICC Spirit of Cricket document — an annual pledge captains make at the IPL. Some live up to it, some don’t.

The fans poured in for the opening ceremony in from New Delhi, Mumbai and even Chandigarh.

"We took a train yesterday (Monday) and reached today," said Delhi Daredevils supporter Jasdev Singh, who came all the way from the national capital.

"It's a great atmosphere here. Shah Rukh (Khan), Katrina (Kaif), Deepika Padukone, and Pitbull - that makes for a heady combination," said Singh before entering the venue with his friends.

The group proposed staying back in Kolkata for Wednesday's tournament opener between Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders.

POMERSBACH VOWS TO STAY OFF TROUBLE

Kings XI Punjab’s Australian recruit Luke Pomersbach has remained in the news -- for reasons other than cricket and more for his alcohol-related indiscipline.

His arrest for allegedly molesting an American woman and assaulting her fiancé in New Delhi was one of the big controversies of last year’s IPL. Pomersbach, however, wants to put those incidents behind him.

"Yeah mate, a lot has happened in the past but I do not want to think about it any more. It is behind me now. Last year, things were blown out of proportion. Now, I just want to focus on playing some good cricket if I get to play," Pomersbach, who played for the Punjab team in 2008-09 before moving to Royal Challengers Bangalore, told IANS from Chandigarh.

Long before the IPL brawl last year, Pomersbach was suspended by his native Western Australia in 2007 with compatriot and Punjab teammate Shaun Marsh for drinking alcohol following a game.

The conditions are much different in India but Pomersbach is high on confidence.

"It is true the pitches are a lot different here but I fancy myself doing well. There are some pitches back home too that are slow and turning ones. But for now, making the eleven here looks tough with the team having a lot of options. If I get to play, I will try to make the most of it," said the Bentley-born cricketer. [MORE]

Pay up arrears or else: HC to IPL

The Bombay High Court has warned various state cricket associations, which have notched up arrears to the police for providing security during IPL matches, of legal action if they failed to pay the dues by April 18, a lawyer said here Tuesday.

A division bench of Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice A.P. Bhangale said that failure to pay up the arrears would make the respective district collectors initiate recovery action against the defaulters as "arrears of land revenue" under the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code, 1966, said lawyer Ganesh Sovani, who represents the petitioner, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Santosh Pachlag.

The court was informed that around Rs.9 crore was outstanding as arrears for the security cover provided during IPL matches held in 2010 and 2011. [MORE]

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