Sobers ready to declare World Cup open

Published: Sunday, March 11, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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DANIEL TOWN, Jamaica (AFP):West Indies legendary all-rounder Sir Garfield Sobers will officially open the World Cup later Sunday at the culmination of a two-hour, 45-minute ceremony.

"It's a great honour to declare the Cricket World Cup open. I'm taking it in my stride and I'm looking forward to the occasion," said 70-year-old Sobers from his home in Barbados.

The former West Indies skipper said he was excited that cricket's showpiece event was coming to the region for the first time.

"It will be phenomenal for the Caribbean, especially for those people who haven't had the opportunity to see a Cricket World Cup. It will be a fantastic experience."

The ceremony, which is being held at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium here, comes two days before the first match of the seven-week event takes place. That will see hosts West Indies facing Pakistan at Sabina Park on Tuesday.

The ceremony, which has been called "West Indian Energy", will feature reggae star Jimmy Cliff as well as a cast and crew of around 2,000 singers, dancers and performers.

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