And the World Cup begins..!!
Rini Sharma | 24 Feb 2011

The much awaited ICC World Cup 2011 is here..!!!


                                              And the World Cup begins..!!

It was a rocking kick start to the 10th edition of the World Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Bangladesh. The ceremony had the rich and varied culture of the Indian sub- continent mixed with loaded fireworks and laser beams. It was a mind blowing Thursday evening for all the cricket freaks.

The magical performances by the renowned musicians- Bryan Adams, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Sonu Nigam and Runa Laila were more than enough in making this opening ceremony a memorable one.

A ceremony which lasted for about two and a half hours comprised of performances by many local singers. The entry of the captains of all 14 competing teams on illustrated rickshaws was the eye- catching factor of the event. If the entry was eye-catching then the tracks sung in four different languages- Hindi, English, Bengali and Sinhalese- were breath taking. The theme song of the World Cup ‘De Ghumake’ by Shankar- Ehsaan- Loy drew maximum applause, whereas, ‘Dama Dum Mast Kalandar’ by Runa Laila set the crowds dancing. Bryan Adams started with ‘Summer of ‘69’ and ended with ‘Lets make a Night’, which he certainly made to remember.

A spectrum of color was seen all over as the children and youngsters performed on the white carpet laid in the field where Bangladesh played its first ever test match against India in 2000.

Five teams- India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, England and Ireland- will be playing matches in Bangladesh in the next few days- were all present with their full strength, though it was not at all mandatory.

The ceremony began with local songs followed by the entry of Sheikh Hasina and then the Bangladeshi National Anthem. After these, the stage was taken over by the young local singers- Topu, Elita, Mila, Kona and many more. The entry of all the 14 captains on rickshaws- cheapest mode in Bangladesh- accompanied with a boy or a girl- surely took away many eyes, but the entry of the co-host Shakib-Al-Hassan on the same rickshaw, set everyone cheering.

As every ceremony does, it too had many speeches starting from Bangladesh Cricket Board President Mostafa Kamal and Sports Minister Ahad Ali Sarkar. ICC President, Sharad Pawar and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also welcomed the crowd. For Pawar, it was a historic day as Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka joined hands in hosting the biggest cricket event. For Hasina, she was over whelmed while she welcomed the guests. She declared the opening by placing her hand on a palm scanner after her speech.

Stumpy, the mascot for this event, also made its appearance on a rickshaw and gathered huge round of cheers from all over the coliseum. Various audio-visual clips of the previous World Cups were shown; along with it were the Bangladeshi cultural programmes, which certainly got more time than co-hosts, India and Sri Lanka. More to this, was added by the unstoppable fireworks and the laser show.

In all, this opening ceremony had in it, what all is required for a ceremony like this to be successful. It had head banging music and splendor of fireworks, which the World Cup extravaganza will continue.