By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) It will be the most spectacular World Cup ceremony ever, promises Sabbas Joseph of the event management firm Wizcraft Entertainment, which is riding high on the success of the grand shows put up during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
"The entire presentation is going to be very grand. We aim to present a pageantry of passion for cricket in the subcontinent through the opening ceremony, and it will be the biggest opening ceremony for a World Cup ever," Wizcraft director Joseph told IANS on the phone from Dhaka.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 opening ceremony is scheduled for Thursday at Dhaka's Bangabandhu National Stadium.
A two-hour, 15 minute-long ceremony, it will see around 3,500 performers putting up a colourful depiction of Indian, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi culture, complete with song sequences by well-known artists like Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, Indian singer Sonu Nigam and Bangladesh-based Runa Laila, said Joseph.
The function will begin with a welcome song by Bangladeshi composer Ibrar Tipu, followed by Sonu Nigam's rendition of his self-composed English song "Rise for glory" that will welcome the captains of all the participating teams in the stadium.
"Sonu's song captures the spirit of all sportsmen and inspires them to rise through the stars and perform well," said Joseph.
Thereafter, a performance representing the ICC-UN AIDS partnership will be put up by children, who will form the iconic red ribbon.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will then inaugurate the World Cup 2011 around a "very different" cricket-based performance, details of which Joseph refused to divulge.
The inauguration will pave the way for a special presentation around this year's three co-hosts - India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
"For the Indian segment, we are showcasing various festivals with a riot of colours that our country is known for. The performers will form a diya.
"Sri Lanka will be showcased as the pearl of the Indian ocean. Using the performers, we have tried to create a sea in the middle of the stadium and we are attempting to showcase the rise of the pearl through the performance. Bangladesh will be depicted as the rising tiger of Asia," Joseph explained.
Apart from this visual delight, Sri Lankan pop singers Baithya, Santhusth and Iraj will enthrall the spectators with their melodies and so will Mumtaz, Sabina Yasmin and Runa Laila from Bangladesh.
Runa is expected to raise the energy levels with her popular number "Damadam mast kalander".
Next up, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams will keep up the tempo of the show with his performance, while Indian composer trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, known for their energetic gigs, will belt out the official World Cup anthem "De ghuma ke".
The highlight in the performance will be the fact that they will sing the song in three languages - Hindi, Sinhalese and Bengali.
The entire show is expected to be lit up by mesmerising fireworks.
"The World Cup opening ceremony is another concept, another show, entirely different from the CWG. All we can say is that we won't let anyone feel let down. It's going to be the biggest opening ceremony ever and the biggest event for Bangladesh ever since its liberation. We hope to make it truly spectacular," said Joseph.