09 September 2009
Australia to start ICC Cricket World Cup title defence against Zimbabwe
Australia will begin the defence of its ICC Cricket World Cup title against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad
Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting poses with the trophy.
Four-time winner Australia will begin the defence of its ICC Cricket World Cup title against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad, India on 21 February 2011, it was announced today.
Australia, which defeated 1996 champion Sri Lanka in the final two years ago, will complete its Group A commitments in Colombo when it will take on 1992 winner Pakistan on 19 March.
In the group stage, Australia will also play New Zealand (in Nagpur on 25 February), Sri Lanka (in Colombo on 5 March), Kenya (in Bangalore on 13 March) and Canada (in Bangalore on 16 March).
Co-hosts Bangladesh and 1983 winner India will go head to head in the opening match of ICC's flagship tournament on 19 February in Dhaka, two days after the same city stages the opening ceremony. Other teams in that group are South Africa, England, the West Indies, Ireland and the Netherlands.
The quarter-finals will be played in Dhaka on 23 and 25 March, in Colombo on 24 March and in Ahmedabad on 26 March while the two semi-finals will be played in Colombo and Mohali on 29 and 30 March. Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium will host the final on 2 April.
After featuring in the opening match in Dhaka, India will play its remaining five group stage matches in front of its crowd when it will take on England in Kolkata on 27 February, Ireland in Bangalore on 6 March, the Netherlands in New Delhi on 9 March, South Africa in Nagpur on 12 March and the West Indies in Chennai on 20 March.
Sri Lanka will launch its campaign against Canada in Hambantota on 20 February and will play three matches in Colombo (against Pakistan, Kenya and Australia), one in Pallekele (against Zimbabwe) before finishing its group commitments in Mumbai against New Zealand on 18 March.
A total of 49 matches will be played in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 with India hosting 29 matches, including the final, a semi-final and a quarter-final, Sri Lanka 12 matches, including a semi-final and a quarter-final, and Bangladesh eight matches, including the opening matches, and two quarter-finals.
During the 43-day event spread over three countries, a total of 13 venues will be used. The 2011 event is a week shorter than the 2007 edition.
Looking ahead to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, ICC Vice-President and Chairman of the Central Organising Committee Sharad Pawar said: "The announcement of the match schedule for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is an exciting development as not only does it allow all our stakeholders to start planning their tours but it will also remind everyone that we are getting closer to the staging of the biggest event in world cricket, where the leading cricketers from all over the globe will battle it out for the top prize in the game.
"The sub-continent offers some great facilities for the cricketers, spectators, sponsors and media, and with some brand new stadia to be built and others to be upgraded, the match schedule will allow the venues to focus on the task at hand to plan and implement their preparations and ensure they are ready to welcome the world to this beautiful, historic and cricket-loving region in 2011."
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "This announcement is an important indicator of the excellent progress we are making towards our flagship event which brings together teams from all our Members in nation-versus-nation action.
"The match schedule will allow the teams, commercial partners, spectators and media to commence with planning their tours. Preparation of venues and safety and security planning continues and I am confident that the host countries will showcase our great sport with its great spirit in the best possible light.
"The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 will be the ICC's next 50-over tournament after the highly successful ICC Champions Trophy 2009 in South Africa. And with plenty of high-quality matches played since that event concluded last month, I'm convinced that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in the sub-continent will further cement the status of ODIs and once again illustrate one of cricket's greatest strengths - that with Tests and Twenty20 Internationals alongside ODIs, we have three viable, vibrant and successful formats of the game at international level."
Tournament director Prof. Ratnakar Shetty said: "The sub-continent has hosted high-quality events in the past, including two ICC Cricket World Cups in 1987 and 1996, and we are committed to stage another world-class event in 2011, one which will be memorable and enjoyable for all.
"However, the announcement of the match schedule will mean that the venues hosting the matches will have to meet their timelines to ensure everything is ready for what we believe will be a superb spectacle and a great advertisement for the sport which has a huge following in the sub-continent."
PCB to form pool of best cricketers ahead of 2011 World Cup
Results of meeting of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Central Organising Committee