Amma Kerala Strikers to take on Mumbai Heroes at 7 p.m.; tickets for the event sold out

The third edition of the Celebrity Cricket League will be kicked off with a glamourous inaugural event on Saturday at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in the city.

Superstars of Indian cinema, including actor Salman Khan, are expected to take part in the inaugural show of the event, blending star power and cricket.

Bollywood stars of the Mumbai Heroes team descended on the city late on Friday evening for their opening match with Amma Kerala Strikers.

The first match of the Twenty20 league will be between Chennai Rhinos and Bhojpuri Dabanggs, which is one of the two new teams joining the league this year. Veer Marathi is the other new team.

The inaugural function to be held at 6.30 p.m. will feature several stars of Indian cinema. Director Priyadarshan will introduce the four teams playing on the day.

Full house expected

Tournament organisers expect a full house for the opening ceremony and the match featuring the home team which will begin at 7 p.m.

Officials said the tickets for the event had been exhausted. The police have also put in traffic restrictions in the city for the day of the match.

The Kerala and Chennai teams, meanwhile, hit the field for a practice session on Friday. A huge crowd waited outside the stadium to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars arriving at the stadium.

Fans outside stadium

Loyal fans waited throughout the session hoping for a star’s autograph. Those who expected to be let inside the stadium to watch the practice session left disappointed.

Actors Indrajith (vice-captain), Nivin Pauly, Rajeev Pillai, Vinu Mohan and Bineesh Kodiyeri were among those from the home team who took the field. The practice session was supervised by team captain Mohanlal and team manager Idavela Babu. The actors stretched and warmed up before going on to practise their shots, bowling and fielding.

Final 11 not announced

The final 11 who will start the campaign for Kerala Strikers has not been announced.

Eight new stars have also joined the Amma Kerala Strikers this year. Team coach Chandrasenan said he expected a better performance from his team this time around as they had more practice compared to last year.

The Kerala team will also have the backing of the home crowd for the match.