One day before the ICC World Twenty20 tournament begins at Lord's, ICC President David Morgan says he is looking forward to a 'world-class event' which begins when England take on the Netherlands at Lord's.
The tournament lasts from 5th June until 21st June with 12 of the top teams competing for the ICC World Twenty20 crown which was won in 2007 by India in South Africa when the tournament was held for the first time.
“We have assembled the world’s best teams together in one location for what I believe will be a world-class event of nation versus nation cricket," Morgan said.
“The inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 was a significant success and now, two years further on and with all the sides having had more experience of the format, I am sure we are in for more excellent cricketing action.
“I know the England and Wales Cricket Board, tournament director Steve Elworthy, his staff and the four venues – Lord’s, The Oval, Trent Bridge and Taunton – have put in a tremendous amount of hard work ahead of this event and I am sure we will see the fruits of those efforts in the next few weeks.
“Ticket sales have been strong and the prospect of large crowds cheering on the teams will only add to the excitement of the occasion.
For the first time in 2009, the Women's tournament is to be run alongside the men's event, with semi-finals and finals running after each other at the same venues.
“And I am delighted that, for the first time, we have been able to incorporate the women’s and men’s tournaments," Morgan added.
“With the semi-finals and finals of those two tournaments being played on the same days at the same venues, it will provide women’s cricket with a wonderful stage as we look to continue its development, following on from an extremely successful ICC Women’s World Cup in Australia earlier this year.
“With large crowds expected I urge spectators to arrive at the venues in plenty of time ahead of the start of matches as the realities of the modern world mean enhanced security measures to seek to ensure everyone is safe and secure.
“The ICC World Twenty20 2009 is part of a fantastic year of cricket in all three formats of the game at international level during this, the ICC’s centenary year, with high-profile Test cricket such as the Ashes series between England and Australia and the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa to follow.
“I want to wish the players of all sides and the match officials every success during the event and I look forward to the matches being played in the spirit of cricket, with passion but also with sportsmanship and enjoyment because that is what our great sport is all about."
© Cricket World 2009