Curtain goes up on the cricket World Cup

2011-02-17 09:08

New Delhi – Canadian rocker Bryan Adams helps kick-start the 2011 cricket World Cup today at the tournament’s opening ceremony, marking the start of a gruelling six-week sporting marathon.

The 10th edition of the showpiece event is being launched in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, joint hosts of the 14-team competition, along with India and Sri Lanka.

Favourites India will go into the tournament opener against Bangladesh on Saturday in Dhaka in buoyant mood after two wins in their warm-up matches, including a crushing 117-run victory yesterday over New Zealand.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who hit a blazing century in his team’s emphatic victory, was delighted with the win, but wants his seam bowlers to up their game, despite a general view that spin will be the deciding factor.

“The pacers definitely need to improve,” Dhoni said.

“They are currently not able to give 100% in practice because we have asked our seamers to save themselves for the main games.

“Maybe that is what is reflecting in their performances. But hopefully, they will do well once the tournament starts and they put that extra effort.”

India, though, are not the only team having problems with their seamers.

Pakistan are sweating over the form and fitness of bowling spearhead Shoaib Akhtar, who is part of a pace attack already depleted by the absence of banned duo Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif.

Akhtar was not fielded in the warm-up against Bangladesh despite all his talk about how he was back to his match-winning ways.

“Shoaib is not in touch at the moment,” coach Waqar Younis said. “If he gets it right against England in the next (warm-up) game, he is obviously our number one choice.

Akhtar and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal were among the first players to be taken for random dope testing ahead of the World Cup, a source said.

Akhtar, 35, and Akmal, 29, were tested after a practice session yesterday by International Cricket Council’s drug inspectors, the source said.

“It’s normal to test players before and during a tournament,” he said. “Nothing fishy about it. Others will also be tested.”

Akhtar, recalled for the World Cup after being out of action for a major part of the past three years due to a spate of injuries, tested positive for a banned drug, nandrolone, in 2006.

Pakistan face England in the final warm-up match in Fatullah tomorrow, a game the ageing Akhtar needs to perform in to make the team for their opener against Kenya on February 23.

Meanwhile, international cricket chiefs have approved Tinashe Panyangara as a replacement player for the injured Edward Rainsford in the Zimbabwe squad.

Rainsford is the eighth player to be replaced after compatriots Tinotenda Mawoyo and Sean Ervine, Australia’s Nathan Hauritz and Michael Hussey, Praveen Kumar of India, England’s Eoin Morgan and Sohail Tanveer of Pakistan.

The World Cup opening ceremony at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu National Stadium will see 3 500 performers putting on a colourful show reflecting Indian, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi culture.

Organisers are promising that the ceremony, which also involves Indian singer Sonu Nigam and Bangladesh-based Runa Laila, will be the biggest ever. 

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.



Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.