The 2015 World Cup opening ceremony was held at Christchurch yesterday and it was grand.
The Hagley Park was host to thousands of cheerful fans as New Zealand and Australia are set to host the biggest tournament in cricket after 23 years. The stage was also shared by Maori warriors and Morris dancers who kept the crowd at the edge of their seats.
Since the time an earthquake distressed the city’s centre in February 2011, the 2015 World Cup is the largest event hosted by Christchurch. The calamity had claimed lives of 185 people.
Though the city still carries its physical scars following the disaster, the audience present at the venue showed that their spirit was always sky high.
“We’re back!” roared Mayor Leanne Dalziell with great enthusiasm.
John Key, New Zealand Prime Minister, was also present at the event extending his best wishes to his home nation as well as other countries competing in cricket’s biggest tournament. He recollected how Christchurch was robbed of the opportunity of hosting the 2011 Rugby World Cup because of the earthquake.
During the opening ceremony, the audience was presented the captains of all participating nations, who spoke to the crowd.
AB de Villiers, South Africa captain, expressed how they have never won a cricket World Cup tournament before but claimed to be well prepared and that they were looking forward to taking the trophy home.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews said that the 2015 World Cup will be a tough competition and whoever played the best cricket would get their hands on the trophy.
Brendon McCullum, captain of the New Zealand team, said that Christchurch, after all that it has been through, hosting the first game was fantastic. He also predicted the tournament to be wide open with no one team 100% certain of winning the grandest prize in cricket.