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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

England to start ICC World Twenty20 title defence against qualifier

England to start ICC World Twenty20 title defence against qualifier

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the match schedule and unveiled the event logo of the ICC World Twenty20 2012, which will be staged in Sri Lanka from 18 September to 7 October.

Reigning champion England will start its title defence at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo exactly one year from today, on 21 September, against one of the two qualifiers for the tournament. Stuart Broad's side will complete its opening group commitments two days later against 2007 champion India at the same venue.

Australia, chasing the one global trophy to have eluded them, will go head-to-head with the other qualifier in Colombo on 19 September, part of a double-header that also features India and a qualifier.

Sri Lanka, which lost to England in 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 (18 September) before taking on South Africa at the same venue on 22 September.

If Sri Lanka reaches the Super Eight, it will then go on to play in Pallekele before moving to Colombo if it qualifies for the knock-out stage.

Pakistan, which won the 2009 tournament in England, has been grouped with New Zealand and Bangladesh, and will play its matches in Pallekele on 23 and 25 September respectively. Pallekele will also host the New Zealand-Bangladesh match on 21 September.

If everything goes according to pre-tournament seedings then Pakistan and India will lock horns in a Super Eight match in Colombo on Sunday 30 September.

The group stages of the women's tournament will take place in Galle where host Sri Lanka will take on one of the tournament qualifiers on 26 September, the first day of women's matches. On the same date, last year's losing finalist New Zealand will meet the West Indies.

Australia's women will start their push for back-to-back trophies against India on 27 September, the same day which will see 2009 winner England launch its campaign against the other qualifier.

A total of 42 matches, including 27 men's and 15 women's matches, will be played over 20 days at four venues - R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Pallekele, Hambantota and Galle, with R Premadasa Stadium hosting the finals on Sunday 7 October.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "The ICC World Twenty20 is now a marquee event in Twenty20 cricket where nations challenge each other for the most coveted title in the shortest format of the game.

"The previous editions in South Africa, England and the West Indies have smartly established the ICC World Twenty20 as a major global event that is not only exciting and entertaining but embraces both men's and women's cricket.

"Nothing beats nation-versus-nation contests and when these battles take place in the newest, sharpest and quickest form of the game then you can feel the excitement in fans.

"We all know how passionate and loyal the Sri Lankan public is towards our Great Sport and we will ensure the tickets are affordable so that they can enjoy the event.

"Following the legacies and success of the recent ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, I am confident that the hosts, Sri Lanka, will deliver a world class event.

"I am happy that the men's and women's semi-finals and finals will once again be played on the same days at the same venues. Those match-days provide a great setting for both the men's and women's game and we remain committed to showcase women's cricket in this way, which is unique in the world of team sports."

The tournament will include two teams qualifying from the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2012, which will be staged in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 13-24 March 2012.

Mr Lorgat added: "It will be exciting to see who eventually qualifies. In 2010, Afghanistan made history by qualifying to play on the global stage which was great reward for them and the development of the game."

"Modern Spin" - the event logo

The event logo - "Modern Spin" - was also unveiled by Mr Lorgat.

Designed by Australian creative firm Witekite, the logo incorporates and amalgamates the rounded look of the Sinhalese Script. The letter "T" forms a player which leads into the "2" while the "0" incorporates a cricket ball.

The colours of the logo, with strong reds and oranges, are seen in both nature and Sri Lankan culture and arts, with their presence in the logo giving them a cricket "spin". It has a natural sense of movement due to its fluid lines and forward angles.

Mr Lorgat said: "I am delighted to reveal this colourful logo that reflects the culture of Sri Lanka. The event now has a formal identity and we will use it to promote this exciting and entertaining event."

The logo will be used on an ongoing basis over the next 12 months and will feature on publicity and promotional material during the build-up to and throughout what will be the fourth ICC World Twenty20.

Sale of tickets and international tour and travel packages

Tickets are planned to go on sale to the public from 1 March 2012 and will be available via website and box office sales in Sri Lanka. The ICC and Sri Lanka Cricket will be appointing a company to manage the ticket sales process and will jointly determine a sales policy that will ensure equitable access to purchase tickets for local and overseas fans alike.

Entry to the women's group stage matches in Galle will be open to the public at no charge. Entry to the women's semi-finals and final, which will be played before the men's corresponding matches in Colombo, will be on the same match ticket as the men's.

The ICC tour and travel website which will go live on 1 October, will feature the details of all forthcoming ICC events and will be updated regularly with the contact details for all official travel agents. They will be the only outlets through which travel packages to ICC events will be legitimately available.

In territories where an OTA (official travel agent) has not yet been appointed, consumers will be able to register their interest on the website and they will then be contacted by ICC Travel and advised to purchase their desired package.

The ICC World Twenty20 2012 schedule of the matches and more information can be found by clicking here.

The ICC World Twenty20 2012 event logo can be found here and can be downloaded for editorial use only.


Shahid Afridi’s return to Pakistan team remains besieged – Cricket News Update

Shahid Afridi’s return to the Pakistan national squad still remains in shambles after a meeting, involving various sportspersons and officials such as the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Chairman, Ijaz Butt, who called on President Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi, concluded without any discussion on the hard hitter’s return to the national roster.

Previously, the estranged Afridi had awaited the meeting with the nation’s Premier, who is also the Chief Patron of the PCB, hoping that the rendezvous may come out with some conclusion for the ‘Boom Boom’ Khan’s ongoing rift with PCB and its infamous Chairman Butt.

However, not just Afridi, another former Pakistani Captain, Javed Miandad, who is now a senior PCB official, and ironically shares a similar faith as Afridi, also had planned on discussing his rift with Butt and the Board since Miandad was slammed by PCB for not responding to a show cause notice that was issued to him for ‘violating his terms of employment’ after Miandad came out with loud criticism against PCB’s flawed working practices, citing that 90% of the Board’s decisions are erroneous.

Unfortunately, for both the former skippers, it was Butt, who as expected, outplayed Afridi and Miandad, as none of their issues were raised during the meeting.

In case of Afridi, though the player was present at the meeting, alongside other cricket veterans such asMohsin Khan, it was learnt that the President concluded the meeting without having a one-to-one word with Afridi.

On the other hand, Miandad was outplayed after his request to shift the upcoming national Twenty20 event from Lahore to Karachi due to threats of the dengue outbreak were turned down by Butt.

According to a source, rather than finding a notion to the conflict, it was learnt that the President’s main concern during the rendezvous revolved around how the cricket fraternity can help the government in raising funds for the flood victims in Sindh.

As for Afridi, the Pakistani heartthrob, who recently led his roster close to a World Cup final, left the Bilawal House without speaking to the media, after it was also found out that the Premier failed to heed on the star player’s issue.

Zardari directs Butt to organise cricket matches to raise funds for Pak flood relief efforts

Karachi, Sept 21(ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who received a delegation drawn from all the major sports, has directed to organise cricket matches at national and international level to raise funds for flood relief efforts.
The delegation that met with Zardari on Tuesday comprised of Test cricketers, hockey players and other sportsmen.
He also directed Butt to organise a national-level match, in which the members of the national team and some renowned former cricketers would take part.
Zardari, who is also patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), advised the board's chief, Ijaz Butt, to hold an international match at some neutral venue, most probably at Dubai, The Nation reports.
Karachi Dolphins, led by former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, will play against Danish Kaneria-led Karachi Zebras in the Sindh Rain Victims Relief Fund Twenty-20 match at RLCA Korangi on Wednesday (today). (ANI)
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