Asia begins 2011 World Cup countdown

Updated: 19 February 2010 13:31 IST

The International Cricket Council on Friday marked a year's countdown to the World Cup by promising a successful event in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Asia begins 2011 World Cup countdown

New Delhi:

The International Cricket Council on Friday marked a year's countdown to the World Cup by promising a successful event in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The 14-nation showpiece event, held every four years, opens on February 19, 2011 with India taking on Bangladesh at the Mirpur stadium near Dhaka.

"I believe it will be one of the great sporting occasions of our time," ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement.

"Given the passion the subcontinent has for cricket and the tremendous commitment shown so far by the hosts, everyone is even more thrilled and convinced that it will be another successful World Cup."

The 43-day tournament will be played across 13 venues in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and ends with the final at the under-renovation Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on April 2.

Pakistan, the fourth Test-playing nation in Asia, were removed as co-hosts due to security concerns in the volatile nation.

Tournament director Ratnakat Shetty of India said preparations were in full swing in all three countries.

"All three co-hosts are fully geared to host the event," said Shetty. "A lot of energy, effort and investment is being pumped into improving the infrastructure in the various stadia."

Australia, looking for their fourth successive World Cup title, showed their prowess by winning the Champions Trophy in South Africa last year.

"Over the past six months, we've developed a versatile squad which has experienced success in all conditions," the ICC statement quoted Australian captain Ricky Ponting as saying.

"One of the strengths of the team during this time has been the depth and quality of players we've been able to call on.

"There's a lot of hard work to be done before the World Cup but I'm confident we'll arrive in the subcontinent well-prepared to win a fourth straight title."

The other teams in the fray will be England, South Africa, the West Indies, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and Kenya.


Topics : Cricket
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