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Monday, March 05, 2007

Chinese Twist to Opening Ceremony

On Sunday, 11th March 2007, when Sir Garfield Sobers declares the ICC World Cup 2007 open, a long held dream of the West Indian cricket fan would have finally been cherished. But alas, the setting might be entirely wrong. The Trenawly Multi-purpose Stadium, now simply renamed as the Trenawly is neither about the Caribbean nor a home of West Indian cricket. For a bunch of island nations that are so steeped in the cricketing culture, the simple folks in Jamaica & Trinidad so entirely into reggae, red-stripe and everything so Caribbean, that choice is a pity. What led to this sad happening is a sad story.

Until last year, none of the host nations showed any keenness towards hosting the opening ceremony. Jamaica finally stepped in, with ample support from China. The Trenawly Stadium is China's gift to Jamaica, also entirely constructed by Chinese labourers. Devoid of any caribbean flavour, the Trenawly is also unlikely to host much cricket in the future - it will be more of rugby and soccer there.
Tony Cozier might be the saving grace, though. Few others speak with that warmth for the Caribbean as Tony does, and if he is going to be at the helm of the ceremony, the proceedings might more than make up for the ill-chosen venue. Windies Energy has been chosen as the theme for the opening ceremony, but India being the power-centre of cricket, there is a dose of Bollywood in there. Here's hoping that Tony will be able to rein in India for the time being, and give the 2007 show a grand Caribbean opening.

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