Sindhu, Manpreet lead Indian contingent at glittering Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

The women’s cricket team skipped the multicultural celebration to get some rest ahead of its opener against Australia on Friday.

An estimated 30,000 fans cheered on from the stands, with the home side England drawing the loudest support, followed by the Indian and Pakistani contingents.

An estimated 30,000 fans cheered on from the stands, with the home side England drawing the loudest support, followed by the Indian and Pakistani contingents. | Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

The women’s cricket team skipped the multicultural celebration to get some rest ahead of its opener against Australia on Friday.

Badminton star PV Sindhu and men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh, in the absence of injured Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra, led the Indian contingent as flagbearers at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

A number of other Indian athletes, including Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda, were also a part of the parade. The women’s cricket team skipped the multicultural celebration to get some rest ahead of its blockbuster opener against Australia on Friday.

The glittering event explored the rich and diverse culture of the West Midlands amid a packed crowd at the newly redeveloped Alexander Stadium.

An estimated 30,000 fans cheered on from the stands, with the home side England drawing the loudest support, followed by the Indian and Pakistani contingents.

A colourful light and sound show showcased the journey of an athlete to the Friendly Games. The performance also included a dramatic re-enactment of the Industrial Revolution, featuring an enormous 10-metre high, armoured bull. The metallic animal was built over five months and designed by more than 50 people.

Artistic director Iqbal Khan, credited for having conceptualised the gala, said, “We know this show will connect with a global audience as we celebrate the best of Birmingham on an international stage.”

A musical finale, featuring British band Duran Duran accompanied by a display of fireworks, was the chef’s kiss.

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