World Cup Hockey: Bhubaneswar ready for Opening ceremony

Bhubaneswar: The city is in the grip of hockey fever. Men’s Hockey World Cup is all set to kick off at the Kalinga Stadium here, Wednesday.

All logistics for the game, including the accommodation and transport of players and coaches seem to have been meticulously planned and executed. With Malaysia arriving in Sunday night, all 16 teams have reached the City and started their training in full force. The gala opening ceremony is set to amuse a 15,000-strong audience at the Kalinga Stadium, Tuesday evening. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will inaugurate the World Cup.Hindi film stars Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit will be the main attractions of the show.

The inaugural ceremony will showcase a dance ballet ‘The Earth Song’ inspiring people worldwide to erase geographical boundaries .The ballet has been   written and directed by Nupur Mahajan. Madhuri Dixit in the pivotal role of ‘Mother Earth’ will be accompanied by 1,100 artistes.

The five- acts , 40-minute performance has been  choreographed by Shiamak Davar and music designed by Ranjit Barot. AR Rahman will engage the audience   with a live performance of the World Cup anthem ‘Jai India’.

All the tickets for the inaugural ceremony have been sold out while tickets for India’s matches in the pool stage were sold out within hours of release last week.

Kalinga Stadium has been decorated like a bride. The state government has spent nearly Rs 100 crore for renewing the infrastructure. High security arrangement has been made for players. The inaugural match will be played between Belgium and Canada at 5 pm Wednesday. Hosts India will take on South Africa the same day. With 15,000 capacity crowd supporting the hosts, the fans expect that ‘The Men in Blue’ will revel in the home turf.

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