100 days to the cup that counts

Friday, 12 November 2010 23:38 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka prepares for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 that promises to bring the best of the game to the sub-continent

Hot on the heels of events in Bangladesh and Dubai, marking the countdown to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Sri Lanka, official Co-Host announced its readiness to play host to the world.

Tournament Director Suraj Dandeniya said: “Sri Lanka will boast of three state-of-the- art world class cricketing venues. Constructed in accordance with ICC standards, the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy with a capacity of 25,000, and the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota with a capacity of 27,000 will serve in bringing the fruits of the tournament to the provinces.  The R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo currently being refurbished will also have the ability to host 30,000 cricket fans.”

The establishment of the new venues and related facilities undertaken by the State Engineering Corporation and Ports Authority of Sri Lanka will result in creating platforms that will help unearth the next generation of Sri Lankan cricketers, in addition to adding new venues to the Sri Lankan Cricket Calender. The legacy of the tournament will thus be a landmark investment in ensuring that Sri Lankan cricket continues to thrive into the future.

The opening ceremony of the World Cup will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 17 February. India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka jointly host the 10th World Cup from 19 February to 2 April. The 43-day, 49-match tournament will be played under a new format with India hosting a majority of matches (29), including the final at the new-look Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on 2 April. The Games in Sri Lanka will commence on 20 February.

Commenting at a ceremony held recently in Dubai, where the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 was on display, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the ICC had learnt lessons from the past World Cup, especially the problem of low turn outs due to the high prices of tickets in the last event held in the West Indies three years ago. “I hope lessons learnt from the 2007 event will help us and we have done everything to make this event in the sub-continent a special one.”

Reservations for the 12 games in Sri Lanka are now underway and the organisers urge the public to make sure of their place in history as tickets for the tournament are moving swiftly. Reservations can be made in Kandy at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and in Hambantota, at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.

In Colombo, fans can ensure their places via the official ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Secretariat at the Sri Lanka Cricket Headquarters (35, Maitland Crescent). Tickets can also be purchased online via, www.icc.yahoo.com.

Ticket prices range from Rs. 30 to Rs. 2500 with corporate enclosures available for Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 and an individual can purchase a maximum of four tickets. Sri Lanka Cricket is to embark on a series of island wide activations to maximise the fan experience.

There will be a ‘Cheerathon,’ campaign to an nationwide Trophy Tour, complemented by live musical extravaganzas and the ‘World Cup Glory Express’ – an around-the-island activity, involving celebrities, cricketers and member of the general public.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 will bring the best of the international game to Sri Lanka, providing the cricket crazy island with a memorable spectacle as the greats of the game battle it out for the ‘Cup that Counts.’

Sri Lanka is an official Co-Host of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 alongside India and Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka will host 12 matches in three venues, including one quarter and semi-final.