Although the promotion leading up to Thursday's BCB Celebration Concert focused on it being a musical show to celebrate Bangladesh cricket as well as to hype up the upcoming ICC World Twenty20, there was always a veiled attempt to align this event with a non-existent opening ceremony of the cricket extravaganza.
The International Cricket Council never recommended or obligated the Bangladesh Cricket Board to hold an opening ceremony. So when the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared the ICC World Twenty20 open, it took everyone by surprise because there were no representatives of the ICC or any cricketer present to witness it, neither were there any ICC-authorized sponsors or international broadcasters to cater to the demands of an 'opening ceremony' of such a mega event.
Could it be that PM's office was made to believe that it was going to be an opening ceremony because her attending an opening ceremony would be more fitting than attending a lavish concert? And that it would also help convince the organising committee to secure financing for the event?
The organisers must be appreciated for their effort in bringing world-renowned musicians like AR Rahman and Akon to Bangladesh's shores for the first time. But at the same time they have to be held responsible for the lack of respect shown to our legendary artistes like Runa Laila and Sabina Yasmin in changing their slots and allowing them little time to perform.
Not mentioning the hassle the spectators had to face in terms of too-stringent security together with poor toilet facilities and food, their was very little scope for the media to cover the event. The aim of the programme was to entertain the live audience and those in front of the TV, while hiding the mismanagement and disorganisation of the event. A major part of the press box at the BNS was allocated to the production and broadcast companies of the concert, leaving little space for the media. The photographers were harassed as they tried to get into the stadium, and when they did they were placed at such distances away from the action that it was a challenge to capture recognisable images. When asked why this sort of negligence was showed to the press, a highly-placed official of the BCB said bluntly, “What is here to be reported about? Enjoy the show.” Now, why would someone who wants to hype an event want press to stay away? It seems the effort was to paper the cracks and hide the lack of transparency in the whole process.