Curtain up on cricket World Cup

NEW DELHI, February 17, 2011 (AFP) – Canadian rocker Bryan Adams helps kickstart the 2011 cricket World Cup on Thursday at the tournament’s opening ceremony, marking the start of a gruelling six-week sporting marathon. The 10th edition of the showpiece event is being launched in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, joint hosts of the 14-team competition along with India and Sri Lanka.

Favourites India will go into the tournament opener against Bangladesh on Saturday in Dhaka in buoyant mood after two wins in their warm-up matches, including a crushing 117-run victory on Wednesday over New Zealand.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who hit a blazing century in his team’s emphatic victory, was delighted with the win but wants his seam bowlers to up their game, despite a general view that spin will be the deciding factor.

“The pacers definitely need to improve,” Dhoni said. “They are currently not able to give 100 per cent in practice because we have asked our seamers to save themselves for the main games.

“Maybe that is what is reflecting in their performances. But hopefully, they will do well once the tournament starts and they put that extra effort.”

India, though, are not the only team having problems wi