Cricket’s greatest prize, the ICC Cricket World Cup, arrived back on the sub-continent today and was handed over by ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat to the ICC President Sharad Pawar at the historic Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai.
With just 30 days to go to the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, Mr Lorgat accompanied the trophy to Mumbai with the assistance of ICC global partner Emirates Airline.
At a special ceremony at the BSE, Mr Pawar, Mr Lorgat and Tournament Director Prof. Ratnakar Shetty also rang the iconic opening bell by striking the BSE gong, thus marking the start of the day’s trading and the 30-day countdown to the World Cup.
At the event, Mr Pawar said that it was a proud moment for him to be at the BSE in his home city and home state. He added: “The BSE will always be a shining monument to the spirit of Mumbai and its people. It is a real honour to receive the ICC Cricket World Cup here.
“In India, matches will be played from Mohali and Delhi in the north, to Ahmedabad in the west through Nagpur and Bangalore to Kolkata in the east and Chennai in the south before we stage the final in Mumbai on April 2.
“During that journey, heroes will be made, dreams realised and hopes dashed. A new generation will be inspired by the world’s greatest players.”
Mr Lorgat added: “With thanks to our partner, Emirates, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, the Cup that Counts, has made a long journey across the world and has arrived here to begin the final leg around India.
“The cup has already been to Cape Town to mark 50 days before the World Cup starts, to Lord’s in London and it also made an appearance last Sunday at the famous MCG in Melbourne. Everywhere the trophy has gone it has attracted amazing emotion and attention from admiring supporters. Most of all it has fuelled their excitement ahead of this ICC Cricket World Cup.
“In the next two months we will witness nation v nation, 50-over cricket at its best with national pride and every player’s dream to lift the World Cup at stake.”
Prof. Shetty said: “We are very excited about staging the event and I can promise that all the venues will be ready and the tournament will bring out the best in the teams as this is the Cup that Counts. The three host countries are geared to make this a memorable event.”