Vol. 5 Num 630 Tue. March 07, 2006  

Bollywood stars to rock C'Wealth Games finale

India's top film stars will join sports legends to showcase the country's culture at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, a top official said on Monday.

India, hosts of the 2010 edition in New Delhi, have been alloted 15 minutes for a cultural programme at the March 26 ceremony in the Melbourne Cricket Ground, according to Indian Olympic Association chief Suresh Kalmadi.

Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherji, Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra will perform at the ceremony, Kalmadi said.

"We will give a glimpse of India's rich culture and heritage in the 15 minutes alloted to us and invite the athletes of the Commonwealth to attend the best ever Games in 2010," he said.

India produces nearly 1,000 films annually, often with spectacular song-and-dance numbers making them hugely popular across the world.

The ceremony will also feature Indian sports legends like cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, athletes P.T. Usha and Milkha Singh, tennis star Vijay Amritraj and 1975 World Cup winning field hockey captain Ajitpal Singh.

New Delhi defeated the Canadian city of Hamilton at the Commonwealth Games Federation congress in Jamaica in November 2003 to become only the second Asian city after Kuala Lumpur to earn the Games.

The Malaysian capital hosted the 1998 Games.