New Delhi: From incredible roller-skating stunts to a breathtaking balloon act, the organizers left no stone unturned but the crowd turned their backs on the glittering opening ceremony of the inaugural edition of HIL.
The opening ceremony started at 6:45 pm with the sound and laser show. The colourful lights displayed the names of the franchises along with their team logos.
The show went on for 20 minutes before the Ukrainian dancing couple took the centrestage with their stunning roller-skating stunts.
The couple produced some exhilarating skating moves as the sparse crowd at the National Stadium cheered them relentlessly.
Their floor sweeping moves took the crowd for a spin as it was frightening to watch how fast she was spinning through the air. Her feet were locked behind her male partner`s neck; his arms were up, in a "V,". One single mistake could have thrown her into the audience like a doll but it was the case to be.
For nearly 10 minutes, this perfect couple, left the crowd awe-struck with their dramatic stunts, with each move better than the one before. Their dancing moves made way for an exhilarating ride above the ground with a young lady executing a balloon act in a lighting costume.
Her high-wire act saw cables spanned between the helium balloon. Using music, lighting and the location, the Heliosphere created the illusion of flying.
Spiralling and spinning and seemingly weightless, the lady acrobat suspended beneath a helium balloon drew loud applause for her every stunning move over the heads of the audience.
After her show, HIL chairman Narinder Batra addressed the gathering and said,"It`s a great honour and privilege for me to honour you all here. I express my gratitude and support we receive from India and around the world for this league."
"I am confident that HIL will be a grand success. HIL is a recognition for our players and national game. I would like to thank the Government of India for their support and necessary sanctions," he added.
Also present on the dais were HIL`s advisory board members Arun Jaitely, Rajeev Shukla and Rajat Sharma.
Delhi captain Sardar Singh took the oath on behalf of the five captains to abide by the rules and regulations of the league.
Hero Moto Corp chairman and managing director Pawan Munjal declared the tournament open.
"Today is a historic day for the Indian hockey. Our national game is poised to take a giant leap into the future. We are waiting for the history to unfold in front of us. I declare the Hockey India League open. Enjoy the game," said Munjal.
Munjal declared the tournament open after Batra`s opening remarks. The announcement was followed by dazzling fireworks. The Anthem of Indian hockey, sung by Sukwinder Singh, lyrics by Prasoon Joshi and music by Aadesh Srivastava, was played for the crowd whhich grew in numbers as the opening match started between Delhi Waveriders and Jaypee Punjab Warriors.