The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday revealed Bangladesh would host the opening ceremony of the 2011 World Cup on Feb. 19 2011 after representatives met in New Delhi to discuss tournament planning.
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will jointly host the event and participants at the meeting, who included ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, elected to make the tournament shorter than the one the West Indies organized in 2007.
“I am pleased to see that planning arrangements are gathering speed,” Lorgat said.
“It is no secret that from an organizational point of view we are a little behind the clock at the moment but I’m pleased to say the pace has now quickened and the various parties are stepping up to deliver what I fully believe will be a great celebration of world cricket,” he said.
“One of the issues to arise from today’s meeting was that of safety and security,” Lorgat said.
“Clearly, that is a major factor to consider and we are already making provisions to ensure that players, officials, media, spectators and all other stakeholders will be safe during the event. In fact, people’s safety is our No. 1 priority,” he said.
Earlier this year, the ICC decided to relocate this year’s Champions Trophy, the biggest one-day tournament in world cricket after the World Cup, from Pakistan due to lingering fears over the security situation in the country.
An alternative venue is expected to be announced at the next ICC executive board meeting in April in Dubai.
But the Pakistanis are still on board for 2011, Lorgat said.
“I think it would be premature to start talking of alternative venues for the event ... At this stage we are planning for the ICC Cricket World Cup to take place in the four designated countries as originally planned,” he said.
Lorgat added that the ICC would soon appoint an independent security assessor.
As part of the preparations for the tournament, the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier will take place in South Africa from April 1 to 19, the ICC said.
The 12-team Qualifier features the best teams from the Associate and Affiliate world with the top four sides winning places at the big event in 2011. The 10 Full Members of the ICC have already qualified automatically.