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Dhaka gives WC 2011 glitzy intro

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Published: Friday, February 18, 2011, 10:18 [IST]
 
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Dhaka gives WC 2011 glitzy intro

The Cricket World Cup 2011 got a glitzy and glamorous opening at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on Thursday evening. The two-and-half-hour spectacle began just as twilight engulfed the eastern capital, and after the Bangladeshi national anthem rented the air, captains of the fourteen participating teams were peddled into the venue on the back of ornate cycle-rikshaws.

A slew of speeches followed with the several dignitaries like ICC President Sharad Pawar and chief guest Prime Minister Sheik Hasina expounding on the significance of the occasion and the glory of hosting the global cricket event.

Then the entertainment segment of the evening erupted with a glistening novelty - the first ever "aerial" cricket game played on the precipice of a tall building with suspended performers posing as players. The over-long match was followed by a drill display of traditionally clad dancers fluttering silken streamers in an elaborate, circular arrangement. A series of similar gigs ensued with lots of colourful local culture on display, while Stumpy the elephant, who is the mascot of the event, was ushered around for all to adore.

Plus, there was music galore, playing out in consonance to the heartbeats of the 36,000-strong audience. Singers and musicians from Runa Layla and Sonu Nigam to Brian Adams and Shankar-Ehsan-Loy graced the stage in delightfully overwhelming succession.

While the entire show was perhaps not on par with the opening ceremonies of the Olympic, Asian or Commonwealth Games, it was still a memorable spectacle which thoroughly regaled the crowds that turned up in droves to witness it.

The event closed with a rollicking fireworks display and laser show followed by a felicitation of the cricket teams and a photo-op and collective interview with their respective captains.

Questioned on the grueling 6-week schedule for the World Cup, Indian skipper M S Dhoni pointed out that the longish gaps between each match would allow players to recover from niggling injuries and prepare well for the next encounter.

Well, India will certainly be hoping Team India stay injury-free through the tournament and play to its truest potential as it begins it campaign with the inaugural match, against Bangladesh, at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla Stadium on Saturday, Feb 19.

Oneindia Cricket

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