Cricket Captains to Ride Rickshaws to World Cup Opening

By Sirshendu Panth

Dhaka, Feb 16 (IANS) The rickshaw, the common man's traditional transport in Bangladesh, will occupy the centre stage in Thursday's Cricket World Cup opening ceremony here. The captains of all participating teams will make a grand entry into a packed Bangabandhu Stadium riding these humble vehicles.

"The rickshaw is our traditional transport. It is a part of Bangladesh's heritage. So, we want to present it before the guests. All 14 skippers will enter the stadium in rickshaws," tournament director for Bangladesh Ali Ahsan Babu told IANS.

Babu said the rickshaws will be brightly decorated and colourful.

"Our rickshaws are known for their multi-colours. We will also present before the guests aesthetically designed rickshaws. There will be bright illumination so that the skippers are all visible from even the galleries," said Babu.

He said the rickshaw portion will be the first of the five-part inaugural ceremony that will showcase the culture of the three tournament co-hosts - India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Singers Shankar, Ehsan and Loy will also feature in the Indian part of the programme.

The Bangladesh presentation would include the war of liberation, excerpts from a famous speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country's founding father.

Bangladesh's language movement that saw the martyrdom of three students for the sake of their mother tongue would also be depicted besides the tribal dances of Chakmas, Rakaines, Marmas, Shautals and Garos.

The Bengali New year would also be brought alive through song, dance and visual effects, he said.

A saleout crowd of 25,000 will cheer every moment of the 135-minute programme.

"We had printed a total of 10,000 tickets of three denominations - 1,000, 10,000 and 20,000 takas. All the tickets were exhausted within a short time. The rest 15,000 include some complimentaries and some given to the government."


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