Dhaka, Feb 16 (IANS) Thousands of people are milling around the refurbished stadium creating stampede like situations, taking snaps of the facilities and raising slogans eulogising the home team, as World Cup cricket fever sweeps Bangladesh a day ahead of the tournament’s official opening here.
Frenzied cricket fans were seen taking rounds of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, the venue of the India-Bangladesh opening match Feb 19, draped in the green jerseys of the Bangladesh team and holding aloft the country’s national flag.
“It’s good to have the World Cup here. It is a great moment for us. We are all so happy. But our happiness will increase if Bangladesh does well,” said 22-year-old Jewel, standing before the stadium.
Shakil Rana, 28, said the World Cup has come like a much-needed relief from the daily grind which involves traffic chaos, high prices and below par civic amenities, the trademark problems of a south Asian nation.
“For a few days people just want to escape all such troubles and soak in the excitement of the World Cup,” he said.
Rustam Ali, a naik with Bangladesh police doing duty at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, was also ecstatic. “This is a great moment for all of us. Also as a securityman I am seeing the players from close range. I consider myself lucky.”
There will be a full-house Feb 19 as all tickets for the match have been sold, said host tournament director for Bangladesh Ali Ahsan Babu.
Despite a tight security cordon at the Bangabandhu national stadium, the stage for Thursday’s opening ceremony, people were seen standing near the gate for hours.
Some young men had brought their little brothers and sisters and feverishly clicked their snaps keeping the stadium in the background.