Sri Lanka is honoured once again, to be a co-host of the ICC Cricket World Cup, and looks forward to welcoming the nine foreign teams arriving here to participate in the tournament, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his message for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
The enthusiasm for cricket in Sri Lanka has only increased with this year being our 10th participation in this eagerly awaited international sporting event, he said adding, ‘there is much enthusiasm in Sri Lanka for the World Cup this year too with our people poised to cheer on their cricketing heroes’, he said.
Following is the message:
It is with much pleasure that I send this message on the occasion of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
Sri Lanka is honoured once again, to be a co-host of the ICC Cricket World Cup, considered to be the third biggest sporting event in the world, and looks forward to welcoming the nine foreign teams arriving here to participate in the tournament.
We take pride in being able to hold matches in three of our state-of-the-art stadiums; R. Premadasa, Pallekelle and Sooriyawewa, completed in record time.
Significantly, the Sooriyawewa Stadium in Hambantota and the Pallekele Stadium have been newly constructed targeting this year’s World Cup. The first game in Sri Lanka will be played at the Sooriyawewa Stadium which gives a new opening to international cricket in the Deep South of Sri Lanka.
Our Cricket World Cup history goes back to 1975 when Sri Lanka first participated, while 1996 was a momentous year when Sri Lanka carried away the trophy as Champions. The enthusiasm for cricket has only increased since then with this year being our 10th participation in this eagerly awaited international sporting event. There is much enthusiasm in Sri Lanka for the World Cup this year too with our people poised to cheer on their cricketing heroes.
Cricket is, today, the most popular sport in South Asia, and the people of Sri Lanka share the joy of India and Bangladesh in co-hosting this tournament.
I trust Cricket lovers around the world will join us in witnessing the action in the field where 12 out of 49 matches, including a quarter final and semi-final will be played in Sri Lanka.
I commend Sri Lanka Cricket for its tireless efforts in maintaining the high international standards of the game and trust our cricketers will bring much deserved fame to Sri Lanka.
I wish the Sri Lanka Cricket Team a very successful World Cup tournament, and look forward to all teams contributing to achieving the highest standards of the game.