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7.04 – Sri Lankan performers Bathiya, Santush and Iraj take their turn to sing about their country.

6.59 – Film tunes from around India are being played as dancers perform to them. Rang De Basanti is on now.

6.41 – Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina declares the World Cup 2011 open. Fireworks, music ensue.

6.26 – A bevy of ministers make long, impassioned speeches. This is a big moment for the country. Next up is Sharad Pawar, president of the ICC.

6.14 – Sonu Niigam is done singing ‘Let’s go for glory’. Let’s also go for a haircut?

6.05 – The loudest cheers were reserved for MS Dhoni and Shakib Al Hasan.

6.02 pm – Stumpy the elephant has done a round of the stadium. Now it’s the captains who are riding around the ground in rickshaws.

Tagore anthem kicks-off cricket World Cup opening ceremony

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Dhaka, Feb 17 (IANS) The spectacular opening ceremony of the cricket World Cup began here Wednesday evening with the Bangladesh national anthem ‘Amar Shonar Bangla’, composed by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, at the Bangabandhu International Stadium.

After the national anthem and the welcome song, the mascot ‘Stumpy’ entered the stadium on a cycle-rickshaw, followed by the 14 captains on decorated cycle-rickshaws, the most popular mode of transport in Bangladesh.

The grand opening ceremony was conducted by India’s premier event management company Wizcraft Entertainment, which also organised the opening and closing shows of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The two-hour, 15 minute-long ceremony, 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.

5.45 pm IST – The opening ceremony of the 2011 cricket World Cup is underway at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

There’s been a rendition of the Bangladeshi national anthem to kick off proceedings.

There’s a packed audience at the ground. Bryan Adams, Sonu Niigam, Shankar Ehsaan Loy are slated to perform today.

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