Monday, January 24, 2011

Sri Lanka’s Cricket World Cup venues near completion

January 24, 2011 (Island cricket): Although still incomplete, Sri Lanka’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 stadiums are nearing completion, according to Sri Lanka’s World Cup director, Suraj Dandeniya.
Chinese construction workers are seen working at The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in the southern district of Hambantota on December 8, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Lakruwan WANNIARACHCHI.“We have only to put the finishing touches at Hambantota, the roofs and the roads leading to the stadiums. Premadasa Stadium and Pallakele are 99.9% complete,” Dandeniya told The Nation newspaper last week.
At the Central Organising Committee meeting on October 06, 2010, International Cricket Council officials reiterated that November 30 would serve as the deadline for completion of construction, while all venues were required to be match-ready by December 31 last year. The R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy and Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambatota failed to meet both deadlines.
Earlier this month, ICC chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, confirmed that several venues were indeed behind schedule.
“The stadiums are slightly behind - there's four in particular, I think - but we'll be done before the start of the World Cup. Most of the stadiums are complete and ready. There are no alarm bells ringing. I'm sure that we'll be ready well before the start of the World Cup,” Lorgat said.
With less than 30 days remaining for the start of the tournament, Somachandra de Silva, the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim committee also confirmed that the venues were not yet fully completed.
“Both R Premadasa Stadium and Pallekele Stadium are 99% ready. I hope Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium will also be ready soon,” de Silva said speaking to the BBC’s Sinhala service on Friday.
The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium will play host to two matches, including Sri Lanka's opening match of the World Cup against Canada on February 20. The Premadasa Stadium will host seven matches, including a quarter-final and a semi-final. The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium will host three group-stage matches.

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