Before the action on the cricket field, there will be some Bollywood-style grooving tonight as the high-profile Indian Premier League comes to the UAE for the first time. Indian super star Shah Rukh Khan will perform at the month-long cricket tournament’s opening ceremony at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
Khan, who owns the Kolkata Knight Riders team, tweeted late Monday night he’s been rehearsing for his opening act.
“All nighter in Abu Dhabi. Haven’t slept 2 days but I know it will be fun with the IPL players so hard work comes easy,” he posted with a picture of himself.
“The full moon has followed me from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi…so has its dark side. Nice to be here & seeing all my IPL buddies,” he also tweeted earlier in the evening.
The actor, one of the biggest stars in the country, will be reportedly joined by his Chennai Express co-star Deepika Padukone at the invite-only event. They also performed last year at the same event in India.
Organisers were tight-lipped about which other stars would be at the ceremony or the matches, known for their star-studded attendance. Actress Juhi Chawla co-owns the Kolkata Knight Riders with Khan while Preity Zinta owns the Kings XI Punjab. Actress Shilpa Shetty and her husband also own a stake in the Rajasthan Royals.
The league will see matches being played across the UAE, in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The first match will kick off tomorrow (April 16) at the Zayed Cricket Stadium where defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders. The UAE is hosting 20 matches until April 30, before the league continues in India.
The IPL, often referred to as cricket’s Super Bowl, has recently run into rough weather thanks to the recent controversies over allegations of betting and match-fixing.