ICC CWC gets Underway with Spectacular Opening Ceremony


The ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 got underway on Sunday (March 11), with a lavish and spectacular opening ceremony at the picturesque Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium in Western Jamaica.
A massive crowd, which included heads of state and governments across the region, ICC officials, and visitors to the island, were on hand to witness the highly entertaining and clourful ceremony, which was historic in scope, as it marked the first time that the prestigious CWC was being staged in the region.
Featured were exciting performances, which highlighted the colour and diversity of the region, and included dances, drumming, and musical performances from some of the region’s best recording artistes including, Sanchez, Gregory Isaacs, Beres Hammond, Half Pint, Buju Banton, I Threes, Third World, Arrow, Machel Montano, David Rudder, Kevin Lyttle, Alyson Hinds, Sly and Robbie, Sean Paul, and Jimmy Cliff.
Legendary West Indian batsman, Sir Garfield Sobers, declared the tournament open, amidst a spectacular fireworks display, which lit the Trelawny skies.
Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, in welcoming the visitors and members of the 16 participating teams, said that Jamaica was proud to have been selected as host country for the historic opening ceremony.
Stating that Jamaica was a cricket-loving country, Mrs. Simpson Miller said that the sport was deeply embedded in the hearts and way of life of the people of the island.
“This is also the land of reggae music, great entertainment and we are thrilled to embrace you in the warmth of our unique brand of Jamaican hospitality. While here, we invite you to share in the wonders and delights of Jamaica . no matter where you come from we consider you to be members of the great cricket-loving family,” she added.
“I wish for every participant, every spectator, a splendid experience.fellowship and cultural exchange that will never be forgotten,” she told the large gathering.
Prime Minister of Grenada and Chairman of the CARICOM Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket, Dr. Keith Mitchell, noted that the CWC was the realization of a great dream for the entire Caribbean region.
“For us, World Cup 2007 is not just a prestigious cricket tournament. It is also the birth of a new dawn in which Caribbean countries accomplished the difficult task of coming together as a harmonious and committed unit to the lofty and the common goal of making CWC 2007 a resounding success,” Prime Minister Mitchell stated.
He noted that “throughout our history, West Indians have cherished and enjoyed this great game and have always tried to play and watch it in the right spirit”.
In his address, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICC CWC, Chris Dehring, expressed pride in the work of the organizers in getting the prestigious tournament off the ground.
“I am immensely proud to be a West Indian. Over the next 47 days and nights, starting this evening, the world will see why we are so proud. They will see the world’s best cricketers competing against the backdrop of the most blessed place on earth.
They will see exciting cricket inspired by the rhythm and soul of the West Indies, for cricket in the Caribbean has few competitors when it come to sheer enjoyment and passion,” Mr. Dehring pointed out.
“In 47 days, the world will see one team crowned as champions of the world and one place called the West Indies credited with the staging of the best Cricket World Cup ever . this is the moment of West Indian achievement!” Mr. Dehring noted.
The opening ceremony was beamed to an estimated 2.6 billion people world-wide.

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