Australia, chasing the one global trophy to have eluded them, will go head-to-head with the other qualifier in Colombo on September 19, part of a double-header that also features India and a qualifer. Sri Lanka, which lost toEnglandin the semi-final of last year’s tournament in the West Indies, will open its campaign against Zimbabwe under lights in Hambantota on the first day of the tournament (September 18) before taking on South Africa at the same venue on September 22.
The speech made by Upali Dharmadasa, Chairman, Sri Lanka Cricket at the launch: It is a privilege to be able to extend to Haroon Logart a very warm welcome, as always it is a pleasure for us to see him inSri Lanka. It is indeed a great honour forSri Lanka to have been entrusted with the task of hosting the ICC World T20 – 2012. The launch today of the – may I say – inspiring logo for the event, marks the start of what will be a wonderfully orchestrated tournament, bound to provide entertainment and a keen contest amongst the teams.
As all of you already know,Sri Lankahas been a full member of the ICC (since 1981) and are proud to have partnered the ICC in various tournaments such as: the 1996 World Cup, the ICC Champions Trophy – 2004, u-19 ICC World Cup – 2006, 2011 World Cup in the past years.
Tournament: The 2012 World T20 tournament adds to those strong bonds, that we already enjoy with the ICC. I dare say, that the ICC have taken into account Sri Lanka’s organizational skills, the quality of the available facilities, the all round delivery and of course, Sri Lanka’s track record in hosting major international events. The ICC has regularly and consistently supportedSri Lankato further enhance and develop the game in this country. Sri Lanka Cricket is grateful for this support and encouragement. Sri Lanka Cricket makes a positive contribution to national unity using cricket as the medium. Our efforts at developing the game and facilities beyond traditional boundaries has brought many benefits.
Example: For example, one of the venues to be used at the World T20 is the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium – not only is it the largest venue globally in terms of ground size but it also provides an important impetus to cricketers from the south. Economic benefits accrue to local residents and the development of this facility and the infrastructure associated with it has helped in Sri Lanka’s bid for the Commonwealth Games 2018. Sri Lanka has a history of being a nation proud of its cricketing skills. The nation speaks as one on all matters ‘cricket’.
As Sri Lanka Cricket we are both honoured and proud to host the World T20 – 2012. As a nation, we look forward to welcoming the many visitors expected here to watch cricket and enjoy the many sights and attractions our country has to offer beyond the boundary line.