All set for grand opening of cricket's biggest showpiece
Daniel Town (Jamaica), March 11 (IANS) The Trelawny Stadium has been transformed from a cricket field into a colourful arena for Sunday's grand opening ceremony to officially herald the start of Cricket World Cup 2007.
Hundreds of participants arrived for rehearsals Saturday evening for the three-hour ceremony, which starts at 5.15 p.m. (0330 IST), as work continued round-the-clock for the big event.
A stage has been specially erected on the field. Scenes representative of the vibrant lifestyle and heritage of the region will unfold on stage at the celebration to welcome the world to the tournament - starting with a medley of calypso, dancehall, mento, reggae, ska, soca and other musical genres, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).
The two-hour, 45-minute show, dubbed "West Indian Energy", will feature superstar young guns like Machel Montano of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica's Sean Paul, the first lady of soca Alison Hinds from Barbados - and St Vincent's international singing talent, Kevin Lyttle.
They will share the stage with seasoned veterans such as Byron Lee, Third World, Arrow and Jimmy Cliff as well as David Rudder. South African reggae artiste, Lucky Dube, and The Duffy Brothers from Ireland will also feature.
There will be a guest appearance by the trio of Rupee, Shaggy and Fayann Lyons who jointly appear on the tournament's Official Song, "The Game of Love and Unity".
With a cast and crew of over 2,000 singers, dancers and performers, this exciting production has been in rehearsal for more than three months and represents the creative output of some of the Caribbean's most talented producers and choreographers.
All of the nine host venues will be represented in the celebration of the spirit of the Caribbean at this signature event.
The display will include a cast of stilt-walkers paying tribute to the Caribbean's cricket prowess over the years, from the sport's greatest cricketer, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, to the region's current star batsman and West Indies captain, Brian Lara.
Officials are describing the opening ceremony as a captivating and colourful showcase of the Caribbean's diverse culture
The presentation will include a variety of dance sequences, stilt walkers enacting a cricket match - with commentary by the renowned Tony Cozier - a mass choir and fire blowers.
There will also be an energetic drum score by a visiting troupe from South Africa, symbolising the link between the previous ICC Cricket World Cup and this year's event.
All 16 teams participating in the Cricket World Cup have arrived here for the event, after contesting pre-tournament warm-up matches in different venues over the last week.
The tournament bowls off on Tuesday at Sabina Park when hosts West Indies meet Pakistan.