01 January 201101:06

CWC 2011 50-day countdown celebrations in Cape Town

The tournament begins in Mirpur, Dhaka, on 19 February with the much-anticipated opener between co-hosts Bangladesh and India

CWC 2011 50-day countdown celebrations in Cape Town
 - Cricket News

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 trophy.

Cricket fans flocked to the picturesque and world famous V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on Friday evening to celebrate 50 days to go before the start of the game's flagship event, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

The tournament begins in Mirpur, Dhaka, on 19 February with the much-anticipated opener between co-hosts Bangladesh and India.

Joining the many followers of the game in Cape Town were Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat and South Africa and India captains, Graeme Smith and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The full version of the official promotional film for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 was also revealed at the press conference. This promotional film will be part of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 television marketing campaign that will go on air this month.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 trophy was later displayed at the function which concluded shortly after midnight with a spectacular fireworks display.

The celebrations will continue today (Saturday) at the V&A Waterfront Shopping Centre with the fans having an opportunity to be photographed with The Cup that Counts.

Ms Zille, in her welcome address, said: “2010 will always be remembered as the year of a successful and exciting FIFA World Cup in South Africa. It is a fitting way to conclude 2010 by welcoming the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy to Cape Town."

Mr Lorgat said he was delighted to see so much interest and excitement building up amongst the players and followers of the game.

"With 50 days to go before cricket's flagship event starts, key players are starting to think and talk a lot more about the World Cup"

"The players will soon start with their World Cup focus and preparation and the related anticipation across the world will escalate with each passing day."

With the three host nations busy with extensive preparation and recognizing that a few venues were behind schedule, Mr Lorgat urged everyone to continue with the hard work required to successfully stage a world-class event.

"We must do our utmost to complete all the necessary work to deliver another memorable event," said Mr Lorgat.

He also thanked the host countries and the ICC's commercial partners for their excellent work to date.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith, whose side opens its campaign against two-time winner West Indies in New Delhi on 24 February, shared his excitement when he said: "I can't believe that the World Cup is only 50 days away! The spectacular way that 50 days to the World Cup was marked is a pointer to the magnitude of the event.

"As a unit, we are looking to make sure we head into the showpiece with the best preparation possible.

"The five-match ODI series against India starting on 12 January will be our last chance to make sure we are fully prepared and we hope to bring home the silverware."

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he can feel the World Cup buzz around him.

"With just 50 days remaining before we launch our campaign to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, I can clearly feel and sense the tremendous excitement which is gripping the cricket fraternity," he said.

"It is not a surprise to me as it doesn't get any bigger than the World Cup. It is the ultimate dream of every cricketer to represent his country in this competition and win the glittering trophy at least once in his career.

"Every one of us in the India dressing room wants to lift that cup, not only for ourselves, but also for the billions of fans supporting us around the globe. It will require a lot of hard work, self belief and also a positive approach which Team India is capable of displaying at the highest level."

Commenting on his side's preparations for the World Cup, Dhoni said: "I'm happy with our preparations so far as we have gelled well, we have backed each other all the way and have played some excellent cricket lately. But we are also aware that we need to peak at the right time and maintain a winning momentum as the competition will be tough and every team will enter the event fancying its chances.

"Each team and match will bring a fresh challenge and we will have to play to our potential every time we take the field."

The charismatic India captain urged the spectators to play their part in making the event the most successful ever.

He said: "I also take this opportunity to urge the India public and spectators to support the tournament and all the teams taking part in it. I would love to see every stadium packed to capacity even when we are not playing.

"With billions of eyes following the World Cup on television, this would be another great opportunity for us to showcase our love and passion for this great sport. Let us all unite and make the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in the subcontinent the best ever."