Lords tipped to host Twenty20 World Cup Final

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The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced that it is recommending Lord’s to the International Cricket Council as host for the ICC World Twenty20 2009 final.

It will also be recommended that Lord’s be approved by the ICC as hosts for a package that includes warm-up, group and Super 8 matches as well as the final in the ICC World Twenty20 2009.

The ECB’s independent Major Match Group, chaired by Lord Morris of Handsworth, has also identified the Brit Oval as a ‘preferred bidder’ for a semi-final as well as warm-up, group and Super 8 games.

The Major Match Group, after a fiercely contested and robust bidding procedure, have decided to put the tender for the third venue in the ICC World Twenty20 2009 out to re-bid.

Steve Elworthy, the tournament director for ICC World Twenty20 2009, said in Auckland: “I am delighted that Lord’s, a world-class venue with a famous history and tradition has agreed to be recommended hosts for this tournament.

“I was privileged to be tournament director for ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007 and thrilled at the success of the event which generated record crowds and also made broadcasting history in India with 1.4bn viewers tuning in for the final.

“Now I am looking forward to the challenge of raising the standard of Twenty20 cricket even higher here in England and with Lord’s as a nominated venue and the Oval as a preferred bidder – as well as a third world-class ground yet to be chosen – we have already got off to a great start.”

Keith Bradshaw, MCC secretary and chief executive, added: “The MCC committee is extremely pleased, and I am personally delighted, at the ECB’s decision to recommend that the final and other matches in the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009 be staged at Lord’s.

“It is bound to be an exciting and major global event, and MCC looks forward to contributing to its success.

“MCC has supported Twenty20 cricket – a form of the game which virtually every cricketer has played – since the county competition started a few years ago.

“Lord’s, these matches have regularly attracted crowds of over 20,000, and I am looking forward to seeing the ‘home of cricket’ full for the 2009 matches.”

David Collier, the ECB chief executive, said: “The ECB is extremely proud of the world-class standard of venues that we can recommend to the ICC for their approval for the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009.

“I am sure that Lord’s would provide the perfect stage for the final of this new and exciting global event. We have had an expression of interest from a number of other top venues for the remaining packages of matches.”

The ECB will recommend Lord’s to the ICC board at their meeting scheduled for March 18 in Dubai.

Talks continue with the Oval and the final venue will be decided by the ECB Major Match Group and bids for the third package of matches are scheduled to be submitted by the end of February.

The ICC World Twenty20 is scheduled for June 2009.

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