Morgan predicts world class event
ICC President David Morgan today looked ahead to the ICC World Twenty20 2009, which starts on Friday, and said he believed it would be “a world-class event between the world’s best teams”.
The tournament begins on Friday when host England faces the Netherlands at Lord’s (1730 BST start), the first of 42 matches over 17 days at four different venues, with The Oval, Trent Bridge and Taunton also featuring.
And for the first time women’s and men’s tournaments will run alongside each other, with the men’s and women’s semi-finals and final being staged back-to-back on the same days and at the same venues.
Looking forward to the action which will culminate with finals day back at Lord’s on Sunday 21 June, Mr Morgan said: “The eve of any tournament is always an exciting time and that is certainly the case ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 2009.
“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.
“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.
“And I am delighted that, for the first time, we have been able to incorporate the women’s and men’s tournaments.
“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.
“I am grateful to our global broadcast partners ESPN STAR Sports who, together with their licensees, will ensure that this is set to be the most watched cricket event in history, while extensive coverage via radio and the internet thanks to our partnerships with IMG and Yahoo! will provide people with every opportunity to stay in touch with the action.
“That level of coverage will also ensure recognition for our valued commercial partners Reliance Mobile, LG Electronics, Pepsi, Hero Honda, Emirates, Yahoo!, Reebok, Ultra Tech and Standard Chartered.
“Without the support of our broadcast and commercial partners the ICC could not stage an event of this scale that has the potential to capture attention, ignite interest in cricket and help our great sport grow stronger,” added Mr Morgan.