So the Cricket World Cup 2007 was officially rendered open earlier tonight by the greatest cricketer to ever walk this earth- National Hero of Barbados, the Rt. Hon. Sir Garfield St. Auburn Sobers. It was pleasing to see him accorded this honour and to see part of the ceremony dedicated to him- Barbadian stilt walkers performing a cricket playing skit with a Barbadian flag in the background. This was the high point of the opening ceremony. There were some other positives but these were largely eclipsed by the negatives, in my humble opinion.
-Tribute to Sir Gary
-Performances of Alison Hinds, Buju, Beres, Half Pint, Dean Fraser and David Rudder and the choir.
-Some of the colourful and beautiful visuals and costumes, especially the segment with butterflies, flags, sun etc.
-Anyone who watched can be forgiven if they mistook it to be a Jamaican rather than West Indian event. There were far too many Jamaican reggae performers for one. Many of them were mediocre and their shout outs to Jamaica only reinforced the idea that this was a Jamaican event or mini reggae sunsplash. Besides the token Trini and Bajan soca artist and Arrow from Montserrat, there was no significant representation from any of the other islands. Hell, South Africa and Ireland had more artists than the rest of us. Can the entire Caribbean be summed up by a short sitar/pan piece? What happened to Zouk and chutney; and for the amount of people of Indian descent living in the Caribbean, there was hardly any representation of them. It would also have been totally appropriate to include an act by indigenous Caribbean people.
-The audio and video work was amateur and in some parts of the show downright poor- I could not hear the pan/sitar piece. There should have also been more shots of the crowd to highlight the atmosphere in the stadium, although this may have been difficult as the stage looked very far from the crowd. .
-The worst part for me however, was the Jamaican PM’s address in which she repeatedly spoke about Jamaica and failed to mention the West Indies. Listening to her speak, one would have thought that CWC 2007 was being held solely in Jamaica and that only Jamaica played cricket. She did a similar thing a few years ago at a presentation ceremony during the South African tour of the West Indies when she spoke of Jamaica versus South Africa. I find it hard to believe that the singular focus on Jamaica was a coincidence.
All in all, while many have been lavishing praises on the opening ceremnoy, I can only honestly give it a 5/10 mark.
Mello is bloody annoying! I always get this urge to punch mascots or those guys dressed up like chickens etc advertising some product on the street. Don’t ask me why! The official song has not impressed me either.