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World Cup Tunes 2011

While Waka Waka from Africa had us dancing all the way here in Bangladesh, we can hardly say that the ICC Cricket World Cup songs have us doing the same.

De Ghumaa Ke, the official World Cup anthem, has not been much to talk about. It sounds just like the title song from any other Bollywood film. Ok, so the chorus is catchy, we'll give it that much. But the same can be said of the now-famous Sheila song. And translating it into Bangla and Sinhalese does not help much, either. The music just doesn't fit our style.

Then there's Shoto Asha by Shunno, Grameenphone's take on the event. An uplifting song, it beautifully captures our hopes and dreams for the World Cup. The video is quite nicely done, too.

Older cricket fans might remember this one - Shabash Bangladesh by Asif. Most possibly the first song written exclusively for the Tigers, BTV still belts this out whenever we manage to pull off a victory. While the nostalgic factor is in full swing here, it is also known to induce mild annoyance; nothing to do with the lyrics, everything to do with Asif. Still, this song is quite popular.

Mehreen's “Cup Kintu Ektai,” in contrast, has been getting a lot of airtime on radio. It's catchy and fun to listen to. But at the same time, it's not something that people will keep on their playlists for long. It's just not THAT great.

PLAY! By Salim Parvez is a gem of a song that has sadly gotten zero publicity so far. Featuring artists from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Dubai, together with our very own Tausif, this song truly reflects what cricket in South Asia is all about. Energetic and inspiring, and a great sing-a-long at the same time, this writer feels that PLAY! is more worthy of being the official theme song than all the other ones on this list combined.

Cholo Bangladesh by Cryptic Fate is another great song that is not getting enough limelight. Despite it being on everybody's minds and cellphones, the radio and TV channels have been strangely quiet when it comes to airing this. Sounding somewhat like a cross between a battle hymn and a national anthem, this will get you pumped up for the action to come.

Lastly, a special mention goes out to “Laal Shobujer Potaka” by Grameenphone. This song has found its way into our hearts and had stayed there ever since. First aired during the 2007 World Cup, it remains just as popular now. Simple lyrics and a melodious tune make this song what it is: pure magic.

So there you have it - a collection of great songs for you to enjoy while waiting for the real party to begin!

By TheAlien4mEarth

Five Upcoming Cricketers

Every cricketer looks ahead to the ICC Cricket World Cup as their time to shine. After months of struggle and looking to impress in the international and domestic matches, a few fortunate people make the final cut. Fans everywhere see the squad lists, smile at their favourites' names and raise eyebrows at those unheard.

The newer players are either uncapped or have played very few matches. The selectors count on them to live up to their potential and help the team conquer the world.

Kane Williamson - Anybody who watched Bangladesh's whitewash of New Zealand should remember 20-year-old Williamson as the man who almost cost us the glory. Having scored a century in Dhaka immediately got him a place in the Test squad. His right-handed batting skills led Williamson to becoming the youngest centurion on debut for New Zealand against India. This guy has adapted very well to the subcontinent conditions. His moment of glory could result as New Zealand's redemption.

Ravchandran Ashwin - A right-arm offbreak bowler, Ashwin was one of the best Indian youngsters in the IPL. Having performed consistently well for the Chennai Super Kings, Ashwin caught the eye of selectors. He made his debut in mid 2010, after Harbhajan Singh dropped out of the squad and has regularly retained his place ever since. His bowling performances in the Champions League helped Chennai win the tournament, and in his own country, he will be hoping to make sure India keeps the trophy.

Ahmed Shehzad - Pakistan's right to host the World Cup was snatched, three of their best players were banned and they were left with a limited amount of players to choose from. They have come with a very young squad whose members will all be looking to bring a rare smile to their people's faces. Ahmed Shehzad is a 19-year-old opening batsman who made his ODI debut at the age of 17. After consecutive centuries in the Under-19 stage, he made it to the Pakistan Test squad - to score a century versus Sri Lanka. His knack of scoring big runs and winning matches could change Pakistan's fate.

Jason Krejza - It was in Krejza's fate to play the World Cup as his call-up came due to injuries to Nathan Hauritz and Steve Smith. To this 28-year-old, age is just a number as he made his Test debut in 2008 and has played only one ODI - against England on the 6th of February this year, taking two wickets. Lady Luck is on his side as he can make 2011 his year and Australia can win the World Cup for the fourth consecutive time.

Ajmal Shahzad - Twenty five year old right arm medium-fast bowler, Ajmal Shahzad is hoping to follow in his hero's footsteps by helping England lift the World Cup - just as Wasim Akram did for Pakistan in 1992. It is Ajmal's ability to use reverse swing that got him the nod for the final fifteen. With the dry conditions and the abrasive nature of the wickets here in the subcontinent Ajmal will be able to generate a lot of pace with a short run up and swing the ball both ways. The Englishman is also handy with the bat and may turn out to be a very useful late middle-order batsman.

Others such as Virat Kohli (India), Bradley Kruger (Netherlands) and Adrian Barath (West Indies) also deserve a shout out. So keep an eye out for these men because, who knows, they might evolve into the Tendulkars and Brian Laras of tomorrow.

By Alvi Ahmed and Padya Paramita

Mirpur that is…

It's been a routine for the last few months, pulling everyone we know by the sleeve and asking if they have the World Cup tickets. But it's Mirpur where the cracker will explode. Except for the few ticket holders, the whole of a few million Mirpur dwellers should, understandably, be quite outraged. It's sad that a wedding takes place in your backyard and you don't get invited.

While a few trees were whittled down, some were actually left alone so they could be fancified with blue lights, more commonly known as 'Elite batti'. Also, when you walk down the newly caked cement foot-paths, look for animal trails. Foreigners will probably mistake it for an aesthetic fanfare of wild-life. But we all know that's no tiger but a dog straying loose on wet cement.

Most of you know that the cricket board has got a sculpture at the entrance. And it was supposed to resemble our ace-up-the-sleeveless-T-shirt Shakib Al Hasan. Yet it's built flabbily and without a decent pose. They could at least have gone with the signature Shakib move of kneeling on the pitch and screaming up at the heavens with his eyes closed. They even dared to make it shiny.

The outside walls of the stadium have been coloured and they are shiny as well. It seems the sponsors had two choices when it came to colours, blue or red. The general stores around the stadium have put aside the stockpiles of groceries and have started loading up on fizzy drinks. And rickshaw pullers have already started asking for higher fares, as if we all are earning in dollars. The sudden extinction of the cha-biri shops has apparently led them to coffee shops for their between-trip chill-out spots.

The stadium all covered in lights gives it a look more like Las Vegas, but it is also to cover-up a structure that is not really that smooth. It's like a bearded man made up with latex to look like he's shaved. Moreover, in order to accommodate more people, the digital scorecard is set high up. And now it seems that every one of the buildings on the east side of the stadium can keep up with the score, just in case the TV isn't good enough. Landlords have gone nuts with the rent and are probably looking into organising mini-galleries on the roof-tops.

This will all run-down soon, as all good things eventually do. So much effort to look good everyday is really not our thing. Those of you who didn't manage a ticket, like yours truly, we can just relax with some chips and Coke in front of the TV and find some humour with Chowdhury Jaffarullah Sharafat's innings-break commentary on BTV.

Let us hope to see a victorious Bangladesh.

By Fahim Rezwan



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