13/03/2014: PM opens T20 World Cup

PM opens T20 World Cup


DHAKA, March 13, 2014 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today opened the fifth edition of the ICC T20 World Cup Cricket, seeking cooperation of all to make the tournament successful. 

"I seek cooperation of all, including the youth community, to further brighten the country's image by making the T20 World Cup a grand success," she said. 

The Prime Minister declared the meet open from a decorated dais set up on the VVIP Pavilion on the southwest side of the Bangabandhu National Stadium here this evening. 

The fifth ICC World T20 will be held from 16 March to 6 April 2014 in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. 

In her brief speech, Sheikh Hasina, also the chief patron of the ICC T20 World Cup 2014, said the latest version of cricket has infused dynamism into this popular game by making it more exciting and by enthralling the youth. 

She hoped that this World Cup event would remain in the memories of the people for long as a symbol of spectacular performances by the world class cricketers. 

The Prime Minister recalled that it was during the tenure of the Awami League government when Bangladesh clinched the ICC trophy back in 1997, while the country participated in the World Cup first in 1999. The country gained the test status in 2000. 

Besides, she said, Bangladesh earned the rare glory of hosting the World Cup Cricket in 2011 for the first time during the previous tenure of the Awami League government. 

Sheikh Hasina said now, the present government is presenting the colorful T20 World Cup before the countrymen. 

In this connection, the Prime Minister thanked all concerned including the finance ministry, the youth and sports ministry and members of the law enforcement agencies and others concerned who are working tirelessly round the clock to make this gala event a success. 

Sheikh Hasina welcomed the ICC officials, players, guests and spectators of the mega event and extended her thanks to the ICC for selecting Bangladesh to host this glorious tournament. 

She hoped that the stay of guests in Bangladesh during the tournament will be enjoyable and memorable. 

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikdar, BCB President Nazmul Hasan Papon, MP, delivered the welcome address before nearly 40,000 spectators. 

Ministers, advisers to the Prime Minister, parliament members and the chiefs of three services, diplomats, leaders of different political parties and players of participating teams were present on the occasion. 

The official celebration of the gala event began at 6.40 pm with the national anthem performed by Chhayanat, a leading cultural group of the country. 

Soon after the speech by the Prime Minister, spectacular eye- catching fireworks enthralled the huge audience ranging from children to elderly people. 

On the occasion of the fifth T20 World Cup, the Bangladesh Cricket Board arranged the "BCB Celebration Concert". 

Indian music maestro AR Rhaman along with his dozens of co-artistes as well as hip-hop and R&B superstar Akon performed live concert in the big stage of the opening ceremony. 

Eminent singers of the country Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmin, Kumar Biswajit and Mamtaj as well as leading band groups LRB, Miles and Ornob also performed on stage. 

It is the second and consecutive time that an Asian country is organising this event, as Sri Lanka hosted the previous tournament in 2012. 

A total of 16 nations including hosts Bangladesh are participating in the tournament in which 35 matches will be for 16 male teams and 27 matches for 10 women teams.