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Priyanka Chopra, Salim Merchant to perform at ISL opening ceremony

MUMBAI: The opening ceremony of the Hero Indian Super League will see Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra perform at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on 12 October.

The ceremony will be telecast live on eight channels of Star including Star Sports and aims to be a celebration of all things Indian with the motto of #LetsFootball.

Starting 5:20 pm onwards, the grand opening ceremony will be a celebration of the vast cultural diversity that is India. The ISL has claimed in a statement that the event will be the most extensive half an hour of entertainment ever conceived and executed in India.

There will be a performance by 200 children (comprising 100 boys and 100 girls) in the age group of 12–14 years. There will also be a performance by 100 dancers, which will have over 600 illuminated footballs as props. The performance by the children will culminate in a dramatic formation of the ISL logo. 160 Indian musicians with eight musical maestros will also set the stadium on fire with melodious Indian music.

Next up will be a quick video montage highlighting the Indian and international footballing talent. This will be followed by the formal inauguration of the league by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The ISL will then pay tribute to the ‘Blazing Feet of Indian Footballing Legends’, the Golden Era of football in India during 1951–1962, with shots from the Asian Games of 1962.

In the musical extravaganza, Bickram Ghosh will represent Kolkata while percussionist Sivamani will play for Chennai. Similarly, Aslam Dafrani will represent Delhi while Bondo and Taufiq Qureshi will represent Goa and Mumbai respectively. Adding to the mood will be Chenda players from Kerala, Manipuri dhol players from the North East and Puneri dhol players representing Pune. All of them will be accompanied by 160 lezim players.

Chopra will perform along with Salim Merchant of the Salim and Suleiman duo. She will then join the eight musicians and dance performers, and also sing an original compilation.

The opening ceremony will draw to a close amidst fireworks, with a special rendition of the ISL anthem by Merchant.