Spectacular opening ceremony launches cricket World Cup

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Mohammad Isam

Dhaka, Feb 17 (PTI) Rock star Bryan Adams provided thesparks as a dazzling opening ceremony, showcasing a vibrantblend of sub-continental traditions and modernity, todaylaunched the 10th edition of the cricket World Cup, settingthe stage for 43 days of high-voltage cricketing extravaganza.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared theevent open amid thundering cheers from a packed crowd at therenovated Bangabandhu stadium, marking the return of theshowpiece event to the sub-continent after a gap of 15 years.

The evening sky lit up with spectacular fireworks as thehigh-profile 14-team competition was declared open in front ofa host of dignitaries and top ICC and Cricket Board officials.

Captains of all the 14 participating nations got anunforgettable ride on tri-cycles while music, folk songs anddances, breath-taking fireworks and the collective enthusiasmof the Bangladeshi capital ushered in the event in a two-hourspectacle.

Bryan Adams'' mesmerising act was the highlight of theshow that also had Indian musicians Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy beltingout the World Cup theme song ''De Ghuma Ke'' composed by thetrio.

Indian playback singer Sonu Nigam and top Bangladeshivocalists -- Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmin and Mumtaz -- alsocrooned in front of a capacity crowd which was treated to amusical extravaganza in three languages -- English, Hindi andBangla.

Singer Ebrar Tipu and others set the tone for the eveningas he arrived in a bedecked car to sing the welcome song, "OPrithibi, Ebar Eshey Banglake Nao Chiney�" (Hey world, comeand know Bangladesh).

All the 14 captains came into the arena on decoratedrickshaws with Australian captain Ricky Ponting coming infirst followed by the other captains.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni drew a loud applausewhile the biggest cheer was reserved for host captain ShakibAl Hasan as he waved to the crowd. More PTI MI MRM

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