World Cup Warm-Up Matches Moved From Pallekele
Two warm-up matches ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 have been moved from Sri Lanka's Pallekele stadium due to heavy rain.
Sri Lanka were due to take on the Netherlands on 12th February and Kenya were also due to play the Dutch on 15th February but those games will now be held at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground (SSC) in Colombo.
The decision was taken by local officials and the International Cricket Council after pitch inspector Andy Atkinson's recommendation following an inspection on 9th February.
The ground is due to host three matches in the World Cup - New Zealand against Pakistan, Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe and Pakistan against Zimbabwe in early March - and these games are still scheduled to be held at the ground.
"The groundstaff at Pallekele have had to contend with an extremely high volume of rainfall over a number of weeks, far in excess of what is normal for this time of year," tournament director Prof. Ratnakar Shetty said.
"This has proved to be a significant handicap in their efforts to produce pitches for the forthcoming warm-up matches.
"The decision to switch the warm-up matches away from Pallekele is common sense and is one that is fully supported by all stakeholders as it will allow the groundstaff the time they need, following those recent heavy rains, to produce excellent pitches for the tournament matches that will take place there.
"At the same time, the switch will also ensure that the teams involved in the warm-up matches get a high level of quality preparation ahead of tournament matches."
The tournament gets underway on 19th February and co-hosts Sri Lanka are 9/2 second favourites to win the World Cup with .
© Cricket World 2011