Watch IPL Cricket 2016 Opening Ceremony Live Stream Free: Chris Brown, Fuse ODG Celebrate Indian Premier League

The 2016 Indian Premier League has arrived, and IPL cricket fans can watch the lavish, high-gloss opening ceremony in a free live stream on Friday. It’s a Bollywood extravaganza that, in addition to some of the biggest stars in India, will also feature performances by American R&B singer Chris Brown and English rapper Fuse ODG.

But the glamorous spectacular in Mumbai — home of the IPL defending champion Mumbai Indians — Friday is just a warm-up for the real show, the ninth edition of the most popular cricket league in the world, the Indian Premier league.

The first match of the IPL takes place the following night, April 9, at the same venue, as the Indians host one the two new IPL franchises this season, the Rising Pune Supergiants.

Rising Pune appear to present a formidable challenge for the defending champs with a talent-packed roster featuring many of the star players from the now-disbanded Chennai Super Kings, including India Captain M.S. Dhoni, who will also captain the Supergiants, star India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Australia Captain Steve Smith and South Africa T20 skipper Faf du Plessis.

India’s Ishant Sharma, former England star Kevin Pietersen, and Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will also be in the lineup for the new team.

Watch a sample of last season’s IPL opening ceremony spectacular in the video below.

To find out how to watch the 2015 IPL Opening Ceremony stream live, see the link in the final paragraph of this article. The big show is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 p.m. India Standard Time at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India, on Friday, April 8. IPL fans in the United States can log into the live stream starting at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 7 p.m. Pacific.

The first match of the season almost did not take place, at least not in Mumbai, where a severe, ongoing drought situation led to protests over water consumption by the cricket spectacle. But on Thursday, the Bombay High Court allowed the match to go ahead as scheduled despite judges’ concerns that water will be “wasted” on cricket matches there.

But those concerns will be far from the minds of revelers at the 2016 IPL OPening Ceremony Friday night, where West Indies star Dwayne Bravo, coming off his team’s championship in the T20 Cricket World Cup, also held in India, less than a week ago, will perform his “Champion Dance,” which became a new craze among India cricket fans during the T20 World Cup tournament.

Bravo had previously been a member of the Chennai Super Kings as well. But this year will play for the second new IPL franchise, the Gujarat Lions.

The Lions also feature an all-star lineup, with former New Zealand Captain Brendon McCullum, Australia pacer James Faulkner and India star Suresh Raina, who will captan the squad.

For the first time, this season’s IPL will employ the popular lighted bales on each wicket, bales that flash brightly when dislodged. The lighted bales have been used in Australia’s Big Bash League since 2013 and also appeared in the T20 World Cup and last season’s Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The flashy accessory does not come cheap, however, with a single pair of bales believed to cost roughly the same as a new iPhone.

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Watch the IPL 2016 Opening Ceremony in a free live stream by going to the ESPN3 site at this link. ESPN3, the online-online ESPN network, is free and requires no cable subscription. All 60 matches in the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League will be available to stream live using the ESPN Cricket Pass site or app. A subscription to the entire season, starting with the April 9 Rising Pune Supergiants vs. Mumbai Indians matchup all the way through the 2016 IPL Championship Final on May 29, costs $29.99 USD and can be purchased by visiting this link.

[Photo via Indian Premier League/Facebook]

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