Dream World Cup kicks-off today thru’ BD-India match
By Rizwan Khatik - Sat Feb 19, 7:25 am
The long awaited dream of ICC Cricket World Cup’ 2011 kicks-off in Dhaka today (Saturday) through India-Bangladesh high voltage match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka amid huge enthusiasm of cricket crazy fans.
The day-night opening match of the 10th ICC Cricket World Cup starts at 2:30 pm (BST) at the renovated and well-decorated 25,000-capacity stadium. State-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) will telecast the match live.
Bangladesh will show up in the field today with a sweet memory of beating India in the opening match of the last World Cup at the Port of Spain in West Indies in 2007 forcing early exit of the 1983 world cup Champions India.
Favorite India is also eagerly waiting for taking revenge of their embarrassing defeat against Bangladesh four years ago.
As Bangladesh co-hosts the dream world cup for the first time, the 3rd time in the subcontinent, the cricket fever swept through capital Dhaka and well as the whole country after staging a tremendous opening ceremony Thursday evening.
From Thursday, the day of the opening ceremony, the cricket fans turned the capital into a festive city, parading through the streets in group processions outside the games venue and other important points, chanting lone slogan “Bangladesh, Bangladesh.”
Both the teams made practices at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. Tigers led by their captain Shakib-Al-Hasan- made practice in the morning while MS Dhoni-led India in the afternoon.
At a pre-match press briefing at the games venue on Friday, the Bangladesh captain said, “we like to start World Cup with a win against India as we have been playing good cricket recently.”
“Our players now come to the field with a positive mindset and most of the boys performing consistently” he added.
Shakib said “every match will be equally important for us, we like to proceed match by match.”
Asked about facing the favorite India, the tigers’ captain Shakib said, “I think our boys are old (matured) to handle game.”
About absence of key pace bowler Mashrafe, Shakib said, “Mashrafe is a great performer, no doubt, but my guys in the squad are also doing well.”
Asked about his feeling as captain of the co-host country, “I am enjoying the celebration of cricket fans. They turned up to see the stadium till mid-night and made the stadium area into a place of festivity wishing Bangladesh’s success.”
Addressing newsmen Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he expects a good contest against Bangladesh today (Saturday).
Regarding Saturday’s match, Dhoni said, “I expect a good contest (against Bangladesh), as Bangladesh is a good and balanced side and also playing on the home ground.” The India captain said his team is in good shape ahead of the match saying, “we have performed well in the last two years.”
“We are set to one of the favourites, as we are happy with our preparations, our bowlers are bowling well, batting is consistent and fielding has improved, I think our spinners will play a major role in the home condition.
India is considered a favorite in the tournament because of its batting lineup led by Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan- all are considered as match-winners.
India and Bangladesh are in Group B along with England, South Africa, West Indies Ireland and the Netherlands. Four teams will advance to the quarterfinals.
Probable Bangladesh Team: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mushfiqur Rahim (Wk), Raqibul Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan (Cap), Mahmudullah Riyad, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hossain.
Probable Indian Team :Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt and Wk), Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Munaf Patel.