Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared the start of Cricket World Cup 2011 under thundering cheers from a packed crowd at the renovated Bangabandhu Stadium, marking the return of the showpiece event to the sub-continent after a gap of 15 years.
The president of the International Cricket Council Sharad Pawar surprised everyone when he delivered the introductory speech at the inauguration ceremony of the World Cup in Local language in Bengali.
“Swagato (Welcome),” Pawar said at the Bangabandhu Stadium. “Bangladesh khoobi sundor desh (Bangladesh is a beautiful country)”
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), which was keen to rope in Shakira for the opening ceremony, opted for Bryan Adams after the representatives of the Colombian singer reportedly asked for a cool $2 million appearance fee!
Indian playback singer Sonu Nigam and top Bangladeshi vocalists — Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmin and Mumtaz – performed in front of huge crowd gathered in three languages — English, Hindi and Bangla.
Singer Ebrar Tipu and others set the tone for the evening as he arrived in a bedecked car to sing the welcome song, “O Prithibi, Ebar Eshey Banglake Nao Chiney” (Hey world, come and know Bangladesh).
Nearly 2,100 school and college students and 350 members of the Armed Forces presented a cultural programme depicting the glorious Language Movement, War of Liberation, Bangladesh’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic March 7 speech, Bangla New Year and traditional dance of indigenous communities.
Bryan Adams rocks with some of his all-time hits like “Lets make it a night to remember”, “Summer of ’69“, and “18 till I die” among others.