World Cup curtain unfolds with opening ceremonies in Christchurch and Melbourne
Melbourne: Australia and New Zealand opted for modest understatement as the 2015 World Cup co-hosts officially opened the tournament with concurrent opening ceremonies in Melbourne and Christchurch yesterday.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni & Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq during the opening ceremony in Melbourne yesterday. Pics/Getty Images, AFP
In 45 days’ time Melbourne will stage the final of a tournament that has become the flagship event for international cricket. While the likes of established powers England, South Africa, India and Australia will bid for glory in the next few weeks, the 14-team tournament will offer a celebration of the cultural convergence cricket has not always been inclined to fully embrace. The most eye-catching moment arrived when an 18-foot illuminated batsman, dubbed ‘The Player’, strode on to the Melbourne stage with the aid of an eight-strong team of puppeteers.
The highlight of the proceedings was an 18-foot illuminated batsman, named 'The Player', came on stage in Melbourne.
The event also witnessed traditional Sri Lankan dancing, followed by a performances from Scottish bagpipers, and Bollywood and Irish dancers. Scotland and Ireland captains Preston Mommsen and William Porterfield took leave from their team’s warm-up matches in Sydney to be in attendance.
Oz pop singer Jessica Mauboy performs in Melbourne yesterday
It served to mark the occasion as the type of laid-back fare that the locals enjoy — measured to tempt them out of the many bars and restaurants along the nearby Yarra River for just long enough to catch a glimpse of the stars of a game that will capture such a large worldwide audience over the next month or so.