Party time on the streets of Bangladesh

By Sirshendu Panth, IANS
Saturday, February 19, 2011

DHAKA - Bangladesh has gone wild. It is now party time on the streets for the people, particularly the youngsters, with the much-awaited Cricket World Cup going cracking.

In the lead up to Saturdays high-voltage India-Bangladesh opener, the vicinity of the aesthetically redone Shere Bangla National Stadium on the citys outskirts Mirpur became a favourite destination of the cricket buffs.

Continuous hum of vuvuzelas, frantic drum beats, the metallic sound of cymbals, and cricket-like music emitted by maracases turned the approach road to the stadium into a party zone, with the revelry continuing into the wee hours.

Thousands of people, both young and old, carried huge Bangladesh flags, singing and dancing on the street; some took rounds on motor bikes, some came with family members, clicking photos of the stadium.

They eulogised the cricketing heroes, and cried Bangladesh, Bangladesh, creating long serpentine traffic snarls. Cars honked, cycle rickshaws blew horns, looking for the narrowest of spaces to move ahead. But nobody was complaining.

On Friday night, the media and other visitors to the stadium were stranded for hours, with all roads outside the stadium blocked by thousands of revellers.

A lady journalist was scared. How will I go? All roads are blocked. There are so many people outside. Can you do something? she was seen pleading with an ICC official, who seemed helpless.

Senior journalists covering sports for years and having seen various parts of the globe conceded they had not seen such frenzy ever.

For the common people of Bangladesh, it is a tryst with an event they were frantically looking forward to. And they want to make the most of the occasion.

Filed under: Cricket

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