T20 WC Gala event kicks off

Live concert by music maestro AR Rahman and other super stars: Eye-catching firework enthrals city audience

Oscar winner A.R. Rahman with other singers at Bangabandhu Stadium on Thursday night. Photo:Banglar Chokh
Oscar winner A.R. Rahman with other singers at Bangabandhu Stadium on Thursday night. Photo:Banglar Chokh

The curtain raising of T20 cricket tournament was held last evening at Bangabandhu National Stadium in colourful fireworks glittering the skyline with volleys light emission.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) held the event with galaxy of noted vocalists, music giants and cultural celebrities. Indian music maestro AR Rahman and Senegalese American music legend Akon were the central attractions in the event attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the chief guest.
AR Rahman came to Dhaka on this occasion with a cultural team from Bollywood where he works as the country’s one of the top ranking music directors and composer. The programme started at 5.00 pm.
AR Rhaman along with his dozens of co-artistes as well as hip-hop and R&B superstar Akon performed live concert on colourfully illuminating stage of the inaugural ceremony of the biggest event.
Country’s eminent vocalist Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmin, Kumar Biswajit and Mamtaj as well as leading band groups LRB, Ornob and friends also performed at the stage.
The fifth ICC World T20 will be held from March 16 to April 6, in Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Cox’s Bazar. It is the second tournament in Dhakaa after a similar event in Dhaka in 2011.
A total of 16 nations, including host Bangladesh, are participating in the tournament in which 35 matches will be for 16 male teams and 27 matches for 10 women teams.
Later, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally announced the opening of the T20 cricket. She said, “I declare the World Twenty20 2014 open.” In a burst of applaud by the cheering cricket lovers who had earlier packed the stadium without a small spot to see vacant.
The city center from Press Club to Baitutl Mukarram was full of young people mostly walking to the stadium. Movement of traffic from Press Club to Motijheel area and around the stadium was sealed to facilitate the movement of people.
Additional police were deployed to maintain law and order. In her opening speech Sheikh Hasina said, “Bangladesh is a country of rivers, song and tea gardens. It has the longest seashore at Cox’s Bazar, natural beauty of hills and the mangrove forest of Sundarban. Bangladesh is a country of the blood of thousands of martyrs.”
She said, Bngladesh emerged as the champions of the ICC Cricket Competition in 1997. It played in the World Cup Cricket in 1999 and achieved the Test status in 2000. The country was the co-host of ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011.
She hopes people will enjoy the ICC World T20 with great enthusiasm and sportingly.
Chairman of the Organizing Committee of ICC World T20 and Minister for Finance Abul Maal Abdul Muhith , State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikder, BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon spoke on the occasion.