Sri Lanka will co-host the much-anticipated ICC World Cup 2011 along with India and Bangladesh in February 2011. The World Cup provides a multitude of opportunities for those involved in the sport, ranging from Cricket equipment manufacturers, sponsors and broadcasters to name but a few.
According to Nuski Mohamed, past Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket and Chairman and Managing Director of The Cricket Shop, the significance of the World Cup changed dramatically during the 1980s while further adding that many elements contributed to the shift to the professional, glamorous and hyped up status of the sport. First and foremost the structure of Cricket changed internationally and with the entry of sponsors to the game, many aspects of it changed. As advertisers sought vibrancy and glamour, these elements seeped in to the world of Cricket. The concept of coloured clothing and matches played under floodlit Cricket grounds that entered the game parallel to the flow of sponsorships captured cricket fans. Television and technology added to the buoyancy, to the fame and the passionate competitiveness of the ICC World Cup, which takes place every four years.
“Sri Lanka Has Come A Long Way Since We Played In The 1975 World Cup As An Associate Member. We Received Test Recognition In 1981 And Went On To Win The World Cup In 1996.”
The involvement of the teams from the sub-continent, especially that of India continues to have a great impact on the game of Cricket as well as the cricketing industry in general. “Even when a tournament is played in England, we see that a large segment of sponsorship and advertising for the game comes from India,” said Nuski Mohamed. As the World Cup 2011 will be played in the sub-continent, the excitement and the intensity will be doubled.
Drawing on his experience as the past Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket and the Asian Cricket Council, Nuski Mohamed said that the ongoing World Cup excitement will gather momentum until the opening game in Dhaka on February 19, 2011 and continue till the final on April 2, 2011. India will host 29 matches of the World Cup while Sri Lanka will host 12 matches including one of the semi-finals. Bangladesh is scheduled to host eight matches. “Since the sub-continent is hosting the World Cup, both Sri Lanka and India have home advantage. However, Nuski cautions, “no host nation has claimed the Cup, so far in the game’s history, but as all Cricket lovers know the game is unpredictable.”
“Sri Lanka has come a long way since we played in the inaugural 1975 World Cup as an associate member. We received full membership of ICC in 1981 and went on to win the World Cup in 1996”, Nuski added. As one of the strongest cricketing nations in the world, Sri Lanka will be a tough opponent to any team that they play against in the 2011 ICC World Cup dubbed the ‘cup that counts’.