As the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 draws closer, many Sri Lankan’s are preparing for the ICC’s flagship event and the month of January promises to provide a host of thrilling activities for all cricket fans.
January 8th will witness the finale of the Mini Cricket World Cup, a six-a-side softball cricket tournament to be held at the Sports Ministry Grounds in Colombo. The Mini Cricket World Cup was open to individual teams over the age of 18 and drew two winners from each regional playoff. The teams from Hambantota, Kandy and Colombo will compete to earn the title of ‘Mini Cricket World Cup Champions’. The winning team will also be given an opportunity to play against a side made up of six members of the original 1996 World Cup winning Sri Lankan Dream Team.
Immediately following the Grand Finals of the Mini Cricket World Cup, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will flag off the ICC World Cup Glory Express on its 45 day island-wide promotional tour that aims to mobilise fan support for the ICC 2011 World Cup.
The convoy will kick off its journey on a float comprising of ‘papare’ bands, encouraging fans to pledge their support to the event by signing a life size cricket ball. Travelling across the island the World Cup Glory Express will be feature at all official ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 venues.
A series of concerts will also take place and the kick off will coincide with the flagging off of the Glory Express and will take place in the night at the Galle Face Green. This Mega Musical extravaganza will feature a host of artistes such as Bathiya and Santhush, Ashanti, Randhir, Umara, Umariya, Nalin Perera and Marians, Iraj feat the ILL Noize Crew, Peshala and Prihan, Dushyanth, Hashini Gonagala, Chinthy, Rookantha and Chandralekha, Ronnie Lietch, Corrine De Almeida, Lahiru Perera, Samitha Mudunkotuwa, Nirosha Virajini, Rukshan Mark, Krishan Maheson and BK, K Sujeewa, Chilli, Chula and the pop megastar from Chennai, Benny Dayal, all on one stage.
The World Cup Glory Express concert buzz will reach the Hill Capital, Kandy on January 29 and Hambantota on February 19, a day prior to the Sri Lankan ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 opening ceremony.
Commenting on the activities lined up, Tournament Director, Suraj Dandeniya, stated “As we count down to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Sri Lanka prepares to re-live every moment of the 1996 World Cup, played in our home country. We invite every Sri Lankan to support our team through the activities that have been lined up, to bring out the cricket enthusiast in all of us. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 will bring the best of the international game to Sri Lanka, providing a memorable spectacle as the greats of the game battle it out for the ‘Cup that Counts’.”
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