ICC Chief executive Haroon Lorgat joined the Honourable Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Sri Lanka Minister for Sports, at Galle Face Green in Colombo on 24th March to formally launch the sale of tickets for the ICC World Twenty20 2012, which takes place between 18 September and 7 October 2012.
The men’s tournament will be played at the same three grounds – Hambantota, Pallekelle and Premadasa in Colombo – which successfully staged the group and knock out matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, an event universally acclaimed as one of the best in history. The women’s group matches will be staged at the beautiful ground in Galle.
A spectacular launch was watched by thousands tonight (24 March) and was a fitting start for the first ICC World Twenty20 tournament that Asia will host.
Mr Lorgat said at the launch event: “This is the first ICC World Twenty20 tournament to be held in Asia and follows the previous three successful editions staged in South Africa (2007), England (2009) and the Caribbean (2010).
“Those events have shown the enormous passion and excitement for nation versus nation cricket and I know that this ICC WT20 tournament in Sri Lanka will be no exception.
“I am certain that the tickets will be snapped up quickly as everyone wants to enjoy this action packed cricket. I know from my time during the World Cup that the Sri Lankan public are passionate supporters of cricket – not only for their own team but also for the other teams which played here.
“I am confident that the expertise and experience gained during the ICC Cricket World Cup will help local organisers to deliver another successful event. In advance I wish to thank them, the Sri Lankan Government and the people of Sri Lanka for their support of the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 2012. I wish everyone great success.”
Upali Dharmadasa, the president of Sri Lanka Cricket, added: “My executive committee and I, as the President of Sri Lanka Cricket, are honoured to hold the reigns of Sri Lanka Cricket when this historic tournament is played on Sri Lankan soil. I thank the Honourable Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage for his unstinted support for all the sports in Sri Lanka in general and for cricket in particular.
“T20 cricket is exciting, intense and vibrant from the beginning. To choose Sri Lanka as the destination for this global event is a fitting tribute to our country which has a proud cricketing history that reached its pinnacle in 1996 when we won the World Cup. Since then we have remained a dominant force in world cricket.
“This tournament will attract new kind of spectator at a time when Sri Lanka is fast becoming an attractive destination for both visitors and investors. The ICC World T20 2012 is a perfect platform to showcase everything our country has to offer. I encourage cricket fans worldwide to come here for diversity which no country can offer and exciting cricket and also to experience the warmth and hospitality which is second to none. As matches have been scheduled in Hambantota, Kandy, Galle and Colombo, all spectators will have a chance to see the country.”
Sri Lanka vice-captain Angelo Mathews and Sri Lankan women’s player Shashikala Siriwardena also attended the festivities and conducted the draw in which 800 tickets were won by lucky fans. Mathews said: “It is wonderful to have the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. It shows that the ICC has placed its faith in us. I want to welcome all cricket fans to enjoy the cricket and of course the hospitality of Sri Lanka.”
Siriwardena added: “I am very happy that the women’s tournament has been given a lot of prominence in the event and I urge people to come along and support us and the other women’s teams in Galle.”
Tickets will go on sale to the Sri Lankan public from 9am (Sri Lanka time) on Monday, 26 March 2012 - with a special window of four days exclusively for Sri Lankan fans. Tickets will be available at box offices located in Colombo, Kandy and Hambantota and at selected MONEYGRAM outlets in Bank of Ceylon branches. It is mandatory for those purchasing tickets to have their NIC or a valid Passport on hand.
A maximum of four tickets can be purchased by each person for the super eights, semi-finals and finals, and a maximum of six tickets per person for the rest of the matches. Online booking of tickets will be available by logging onto www.icc-cricket.com, and buyers must produce a receipt confirming their purchase to redeem their match ticket at the box office. Ticket collection will take place from 1 August 2012.
Tickets represent excellent value with prices starting at as little as US $0.25 for the single group games and the final itself has tickets ranging from only US $2.50 up to just US $45.
Attendance at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 during the group stages in Galle will be free of charge. The women’s semi-finals and final will be played on the same day on the same ground as the men’s and will be covered by the same ticket. The global sale of tickets will go live on Friday, 30 March at 9am GMT with a second phase of tickets becoming available on 1 August 2012.
The final two spots for the ICC World Twenty20 2012 were decided on Saturday when the qualifying event reached a climax in Dubai. The finalists – Afghanistan and Ireland – have qualified for Sri Lanka. Find further details on the ICC website at www.icc-cricket.com.