World Cup fever kicks off

For the first time in cricketing history Sri Lanka will be hosting the World Cup tournaments, and you can bet we’re going to make it as memorable as you can imagine. Preparations are underway for the President to launch the ‘Glory Express’ next Saturday (Jan 8) followed by a string of concerts by the giants of pop and hiphop music in the island.

The Glory Express is an island wide promotional convoy that will stir up and spread the world cup fervour throughout the island, while encouraging and allowing Sri Lankans to show their support for the Lankan Cricket team. You will be able to show your support by placing your palm print on a giant cricket ball that the Glory Express will transport across the island. The convoy will also stop at key locations so the public can view the mobile Cricket World Cup exhibition on board.

Pic by Saman Kariyawasam

At three major key locations which the Glory Express will sojourn, mega concerts have been organised that are set to blow you away. For the first time ever all of the biggest names in the local music industry, including a few popular Indian musicians, will perform back to back at each of the mega concerts. These artists include Bathiya and Santhush featuring Ashanti, Randhir, Umara, Umariya, Sunflowers feat. Neal Warnakulasuriya, Iraj feat the ILL Noize Crew, Peshala and Prihan, Benny Dayal from Chennai, Dushyanth feat Hashini Gonagala, Centigradez, Chinthy, Rookantha and Chandralekha, Ronnie Lietch, Corrine De Almeida, Lahiru Perera, Samitha Mudunkotuwa, Nirosha Virajini, Athula Adhikari, Rukshan Mark, Krishan Maheson and B.K, Surenie De Mel, K. Sujeewa, Chillie, Nihal Nelson and Chula.

Bathiya and Santush, Sri Lanka’s biggest contemporary pop duo, spoke to Mirror Magazine about the concert, shared their sentiments towards the Cricket World Cup 2011.

“What we can tell you at this point is that there are a lot of surprises planned for the concert,” says Santhush. Apart from sharing this he said there were surprises in store and the upcoming concerts being unlike anything seen before the musicians are tight-lipped about what can be expected; ballooning suspense till date of the performance.

The pop pair are nothing short of typical Sri Lankan cricket enthusiast and they follow matches closely; rooting for the Sri Lankan team, of course. Having played the sport since they were knee high; well before they became synonymous with Sri Lankan pop music, they’ve got a firm association with the sport. One of the most memorable moments in cricketing history for Bathiya, is the 1996 World Cup victory by Sri Lanka. Besides placing Sri Lanka on the map, Bathiya explains how pivotal the final World Cup match was as the whole of Sri Lanka experienced a leap in confidence. “Having been through so many years of war, when Sri Lanka won the 1996 Cricket World Cup, there was a change in the people,” he says, adding “Sri Lankans realised that they could accomplish anything if they tried.”

Bathiya and Santhush are convinced the Sri Lankan Cricket team has what it takes to win the 2011 World Cup. Showing their full support and encouraging the team, the pop icons will perform along with the host of other artists in Colombo at Galle Face Green on January 8, Kandy on January 29 and Hambantota on February 19. So keep a watch out for more information about the Glory Express and the string of concerts and show your support for the Sri Lankan Cricket team. May victory be ours!

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