Punjab De Sher’s debut into the celebrity Cricket League (CCL) was an occasion to remember as a full stadium and overjoyed fans ushered in the ninth CCL team in true blue Punjabi over the top style. The electric atmosphere reverberated with joie d vivre and festivity as fans got a treat to remember as one celebrity after another, from Bollywood, Pollywood entertainment industry showed up to support and encourage the Punjabi lions. Team owners Puneet Singh and Navraj Hans made sure the CCL and Punjab De Sher got off to an outstanding start in the region.
Extensive media coverage had paved the way for a fantastic fan turnout, inspite of the fact that most colleges were in the middle of examinations, as the excitement and elation of being a part of Punjab’s debut brought out the fans in droves. And none were disappointed, as the riveting spectacle of cricket and entertainment unravelled, with performances by leading entertainers such as Ali Quli Mirza, Preet Harpal, Kulwinder Billa and Hardy Sidhu. Anchored by the always entertaining Joe Bath and the scintillating Satinder Satti, the show got everyone on their feet.
The cricket took over next as Mumbai Heroes team, lead by Bobby Deol and featuring stars including Sohail Khan ( also the team owner), Suneil Shetty, Sameer Ahluwalia, Indraneil Sengupta, Vatsal Sheth, Apoorva Lakhia and Jeetu Verma et al won the toss and put the Punjab De Sher’s into bat.
Opening batsmen Navraj Hans ( co-owner Punjab De Sher) and Gulzar Chahal gave the Punjab De Sher’s a flying start. The unmissable knock of the night was played by Navraj Hans as he blasted an awesome 122 off just 54 balls before being bowled out by Dulgach. His “man of the match’ performance was the highlight of the Punjabi innings. Punjabi lions put 191 for 4 on the scoreboard and were confident as Mumbai heroes came into bat.
The excitement skyrocketed as Mumbai Heroes pulled out all the stops in return and a flawless Apporva Lakhia lead their charge. Playing one masterful stroke after another, he not only bagged the “best batsman’ trophy, but also ensured that Mumbai Heroes romped into victory, giving Punjab De Sher’s a wakeup call and a taste of the high standard of CCL cricket matches right at their debut match.
Honourable Governor of Punjab and Haryana His excellency Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki was the chief guest for the glamorous evening and gave away the trophies and mementos, making it truly an evening of high voltage cricketing action and sensational entertainment. The CCL has arrived in North India in splendid style as the wonderful evening gave a taste of the excitement that awaits all, when the CCL season 6 kicks off in January 2016.
Sector 16 Stadium, Chandigarh
Long before the PCA Stadium, Mohali came into bring, Sector 16 stadium in the heart of Chandigarh was the one stop for scores of cricket players and passionate enthusiasts in the City Beautiful. It was the original home of cricket in the Union Territory where the most illustrious cricketers of the region have played innumerable times. Kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma and Yograj Singh started playing cricket at the Sector 16 Stadium. Haryana played the Ranji Trophy Plate League semi-final here in 2004-05 and the Haryana Cricket Association decided to stage the ODI against Australia at the same venue. The Sector 16 Stadium last hosted an ODI in 1992-93, when India beat England by five wickets. It will be the spectacular home ground of the team Punjab De Sher debut match against Mumbai Heroes on march 28, 2015.