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Aug 19, 2010

ICC Cricket World Cup warm-up fixture schedule is revealed

With just six months to go before the first ball of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is bowled, the ICC has announced the schedule of warm-up matches as Muttiah Muralidaran of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal have showed their support and enthusiasm for ICC's flagship event which will be staged in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. 

The 14 warm-up matches will be played across the three host countries from 12 to 18 February 2011 with Bengaluru, Chennai, Chittagong, Colombo, Dhaka, Nagpur and Pallekele acting as host cities. 

Each of the 14 competing sides will play two warm-up matches with four-time and reigning world champion Australia taking on India and South Africa on 13 and 15 February in Bengaluru. Sri Lanka, the1996 winner and one of the co-hosts, will go head to head with the Netherlands and the West Indies on 12 and 16 February in Pallekele and Colombo respectively. The 1992 world champion Pakistan meets Bangladesh and England in Dhaka on 15 and 18 February. 

ICC President Sharad Pawar believes that next year's event will turn out to be the most successful one. "Today means that the start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is exactly six months away," he said. "Let there be no doubt whatsoever that the ICC, along with the three co-hosts, will ensure that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is the best of all the World Cups staged so far." 

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal can't wait for 19 February when his side will take on 1983 world champion India in the tournament opener. 

"This will be my second ICC Cricket World Cup but definitely the one I am longing for. In front of our own fans, families and friends we have the opportunity to make the country proud and deep inside every Bangladesh cricketer is a burning desire to excel," said the left-hander who was part of the side which upset India by five wickets in its ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 opener in Port of Spain. 

"There is no other competition like the ICC Cricket World Cup and it is knocking at our door. Bangladesh will be the centre of the cricket world six months from now and I am excited like anyone. Just imagine what it is like for the kids aspiring to be cricketers? 

"The legacy of this ICC Cricket World Cup will be ours to cherish and my message to the public is to make every moment memorable and share your enjoyment with others. You may not get another chance." 

Sri Lanka's legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralidaran not only rated his world record 800 Test wickets as high as being a World Cup winner but also credited the 1996 glory for transforming him into a better cricketer. 

"Obviously winning the tournament in the Indian sub-continent in 1996 is something I rate as highly as my 800 Test wickets and reaching the final in the West Indies three years ago was also by no means a small achievement. 

"I'm hoping victory in next year's World Cup will not only strengthen our future as a cricketing nation but will also help us produce more world-class cricketers who will go on to entertain the world with their flare, talent, charisma and prowess." 

Meanwhile, to commemorate the "six month months to go" milestone, the ICC announced that several exciting ticket packages are available from today (Thursday 19 August) on its website 

The packages are available in three major themes - Follow Your Team, wherein customers will be able to buy all group match tickets for their favorite team with a single click; Love Your City, which allows the user to see all the group matches in their city; and Be a Great Host, where customers can buy certain group match tickets to all the guest country matches to cheer and make the guest countries feel at home. 

The following is the schedule of warm-up matches (in line with previous ICC events none of these matches will carry official ODI status): 

Sat, 12 Feb, 2011 9:30 AMWest Indies v KenyaColombo
Sat, 12 Feb, 2011 9:30 AMSri Lanka v the NetherlandsPallekele
Sat, 12 Feb, 2011 14:30 PMNew Zealand v IrelandNagpur
Sat, 12 Feb, 2011 14:30 PMZimbabwe v South AfricaChennai
Sat, 12 Feb, 2011 14:30 PMBangladesh v CanadaChittagong
Sun, 13 Feb, 2011 14:30 PMIndia v AustraliaBangalore
Tue, 15 Feb, 2011 9:30 AMIreland v ZimbabweNagpur
Tue, 15 Feb, 2011 9:30 AMKenya v the NetherlandsPallekele
Tue, 15 Feb, 2011 14:30 PMAustralia v South AfricaBangalore
Tue, 15 Feb, 2011 14:30 PMBangladesh v PakistanDhaka
Wed, 16 Feb, 2011 9:30 AMSri Lanka v West IndiesColombo
Wed, 16 Feb, 2011 9:30 AMEngland v CanadaDhaka
Wed, 16 Feb, 2011 14:30 PMIndia v New ZealandChennai
Fri, 18 Feb, 2011 14:30 PMEngland v PakistanDhaka


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