Saturday, April 13, 2024

Everything in place

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Everything in place
If there was any lingering sense of disbelief that a World Cup is actually going to be held on these shores, it must surely have been dispelled on Wednesday evening when the Canadian team became the first to arrive in Dhaka.
The North Americans were escorted to their team hotel from the Hazrat Shahjalal Airport uninterrupted with heavy security, one of the pet peeves of a major tournament.
And with the popular Pakistan team scheduled to arrive tonight, the excitement surrounding Bangladesh’s first-ever hosting of cricket’s marquee event can only get bigger.
The Canadian team are here for their practice match against Bangladesh, due to take place on February 12 at Chittagong’s Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. Fans hungry to see the Tigers in action before the World Cup gets underway can set their sights on this encounter, as it is the only one of Bangladesh’s warm-up encounters for which tickets are still available. Over the next few days, the English team will also touch down in Dhaka for matches against Canada and Pakistan at Fatullah.
Dhaka and Chittagong, meanwhile, have been getting ready to host the world. The facelift of the capital and the port city are going on in full swing. Although the traffic has not yet been eased, one can easily see changes in other areas. The Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, which will host six World Cup matches, wore a whole new look. The surrounding areas have gone through massive face-lifting work. Most buildings from the airport to Mirpur and the Bangabandhu National Stadium have also gotten a fresh coat of paint. Besides, posters and festoons have been mounted in different parts of the city welcoming the visiting cricket community.
There might be a lot of disappointment among the fans for not getting hold of a dream World Cup ticket and the way it was handled, it is heartening for all concerned to know that the country is faring considerably better than its two co-hosts in getting the designated venues ready to host matches. Sri Lanka’s preparations have been blighted by rain while the Eden Gardens in Kolkata has already lost the right to hold the India-England match because the landmark venue was not ready in time.
Happily for Bangladesh, the weather has been fine and the two match venues, Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium and Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, appear in top shape with the venues being converted to all-seaters and facilities being upgraded to international standards.
The Bangabandhu National Stadium, the country’s oldest venue and the setting for the gala opening ceremony which will feature international stars such as Canadian singer Bryan Adams, has enjoyed a similar facelift. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, authorities have shut down the venue to the general public seven days before the august occasion on February 17.
All that remains now is the ringing of the opening bell.

 

Via: The Daily Star

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