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League off to starry start
- Indian Idol star Puja Chatterjee ups glamour quotient

Dhanbad, June 2: Dhanbad didn’t have a Kate Perry to lead the audience into mass gawping on Friday night.

But it did offer its own brand of entertainment with local girl Puja Chatterjee sizzling the audience during the inauguration of Dhanbad Premier League — a T20 cricket tournament conceived on the lines of BCCI’s cash-rich, glamour-stung Indian Premier League.

The weeklong event, which will see five teams fighting it out for the crown, witnessed a glittering inauguration yesterday in the presence of who’s who of the state, including Jharkhand State Cricket Association president Amitabh Chaudhary, divisional railway manager Sudhir Kumar, Dhanbad MLA Mannan Mallick, Jharia MLA Kunti Singh and senior divisional commercial manager Dayanand.

District and session judge S.K. Singh, SP R.K. Dhan, president of Dhanbad Cricket Association Manoj Singh, senior vice-president Vinay Singh and general secretary S.A. Rahman also graced the occasion, that was replete with dazzling shows put up by Indian Idol fame singer Puja.

The evening, which started with Puja, in company of Calcutta-based cheerleaders, performing to a number of Bollywood hits, also saw the players, officials and coachs of the five franchises — Jharia Janbaaz, Dhanbad Dangers, Sindri Sher, Katras King and Nirsa Warriors — making an appearance on the stage.

As the songs and dance burst forth from the stage, the audience did look like they were having fun at the evening’s entertainment.

The entertainment reached its peak when Puja dragged some players and officials to shake a leg on the stage with her, amid wild clapping by the audience.

The chief guest of the evening Amitabh Chaudhary, along with other dignitaries, next released a bunch of balloons in the air to mark the formal inauguration of the tournament. As the balloons went up to kiss the night, a firework show lit up the sky, much to the delight of the gathering. The cracker show lasted for 20 minutes, with each burst wildly applauded and appreciated by the audience.

Speaking during the occasion later, Chaudhary said since the time of undivided Bihar, Dhanbad Cricket Association has been known to be “innovative” and to come up with and do things that were out of the box.

The trend, he claimed, had been started by them and picked up by other district associations later.

DRM Sudhir Kumar, who was the guest of honour, too thanked the organisers for putting together such a show.

“I am excited that the Dhanbad Premier League is being organised in the district during my tenure,” he said.