Shaggy was the big name at the opening ceremony, while a steel band provided some local flavour © Getty Images
 

Cricket doesn’t have a great record when it comes to opening ceremonies. The World Cup in 1996 included a laser show, but high winds meant it didn’t quite go to plan. In 1999 the English weather and a dodgy microphone for Tony Blair meant a rather shambolic start and last year, at the World Twenty20 in England, more rain meant Aleisha Dixon’s entrance was canned at Lord’s.

This time, though, the small spectacle went to plan at Providence. And small is the key word there. When the weather meant the ceremony was cancelled at Lord’s nine months ago Netherlands then went and beat England which ensured everyone was talking about the cricket. It didn’t need anything else to enliven the tournament. The cricket did it all on its own. Twenty20 is the entertainment and the sooner it can get going the better.

But there’s nothing wrong with the off-field highlights – they have become part and parcel of Twenty20. So half an hour before New Zealand and Sri Lanka took the field we were greeted by Caribbean dancers on the outfield, although for a moment it looked as though they would charge straight into New Zealand’s warm-up session.

The highlight, though, for the crowd that had arrived in time for the start was a performance by Shaggy, the Jamaica-born reggae star, who whipped up the enthusiasm on the grass-banked party stand.

It has been promised that this tournament will learn from the mistakes of the 2007 World Cup and on a stage next to Shaggy was a steel-band, which wouldn’t have been allow into the ground three years ago. They performed the national anthems of both teams as children held the flags of both nations.

However, the most pleasing thing to hear was the sound of horns and conch shells from the stands. Already it feels a world away from the silence that greeted the World Cup. The ground wasn’t full for the start of the opening game, but it slowly continued to fill up with the promise of a vibrant atmosphere when West Indies take the field. I wonder if Shaggy will be watching?

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo