A huge security operation was in place in the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka today to ensure a trouble-free start to the Cricket World Cup.
Police, military officers and organisers told Reuters that they were confident that safety for players and fans alike had been secured by the measures for the six-week tournament which culminates in the April 2 final in Mumbai.
The event is being staged in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Hasan Mahmood Khandker, Bangladesh's police chief, said: "We have taken all measures to ensure the fully secure conduct of the World Cup.
"Along with police, the members of rapid action battalion (RAB), army personnel and detectives are all working together and assisting us to do our job without any trouble.
"We are ready for the show and to make it fully secure," said another Dhaka police officer. "We expect the fiesta will go off smoothly," he said.
One media report here said that some 20,000 members of Bangladesh's elite paramilitary force had been deployed in this country of over 160 million to ensure a trouble-free start in Dhaka to the long-awaited event.
Earlier this week, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council, Haroon Lorgat, said he was confident the security measures in place and the experience the governing body had accrued in this area had now made safety a "non-issue".
Bangladesh, formed in 1971 after splitting with Pakistan following a nine-month war, has a history of political violence though is now a parliamentary democracy.