Over 1,300 people, volunteers and staff are buzzing about the place, making sure that every little detail had been analysed, every single bat, ball and wicket is placed in wait for the biggest cricketing event of the year.
Adrenaline is pumping almost audibly through uncounta- ble veins of a cricket adoring nation while they wait in anticipa- tion of the ICC World Twenty20 tour- nament, which is to be held for the first time in Asia, here in our own little Island haven, Sri Lanka.
Twenty teams, more than 500,000 people of different nationalities as well as our very own are expected to overflow the stadiums at four exqui- site venues in four different locations starting from September 18, 2012 while the nation undergoes the very first experience of its kind. Sri Lanka sways in full throttle as it hustles and bustles about preparing for the big event, contributing towards the general excitement of its people buzzing through the air through, which one can almost cut with the proverbial knife.
Tickets of the finals have all dis- appeared within the first few weeks and the semi-finals tickets seem to be disappearing as rapidly as well. Nothing speaks louder of the enthu- siasm of the people than such a swift and nimble sale of tickets. The Twenty20 is an event for everybody as tickets are priced in such a way that anybody who wishes to partici- pate in the event can quite easily afford to do so. The Twenty20 format is specially designed to attract the segments of the society that are not traditional cricket fans per se. It expects to lure in a wholly different crowd that usually avoids the game because of its lengthy nature. The Twenty20 tournament is all about fun and excitement. And the public is more than welcome to let the cricket devils in them run wild this season without any inhibitions.
The Icc World Twenty20 Will Be Held From September 18 To October 7, 2012
“We have never had so many teams coming into the country and an event of such capacity has never been held in Sri Lanka. 23 teams, four venues operating for a period of three weeks at the same time is a lot of work” said Upekha Nell, Tournament Director.
Sri Lanka’s sense of hospitality goes without saying and to prove this factor once more, the whole country is gearing itself up to lavish the guests with the plentiful gen- erosity that is quite endemic to our culture. Plans are being launched in grandiose scales to make the vis- iting teams as comfortable as pos- sible and to make their visit truly memorable – Sri Lankan style. It is a fact that the enormous potential of Sri Lankan gastronomy has not yet been properly explored. Realis- ing this potential, hotels and res- taurants of the nation have stepped up to the challenge with their very own promotions of Sri Lankan food to tantalise the tastebuds of the visi- tors who are yet to grace the Island. The aim is to woo the cricket enthu- siasts with our innate helpfulness and our magnanimous smiles and to win their hearts with the abound- ing blessings that this country alone has to offer.
Sri Lanka is a land of rare and unique advantage where just within a matter of hours, the salty seaside can be reached from atop a rolling fresh mountain. Therefore, travelling within the four host cities, Colombo, Hambanthota, Kandy and Galle would be a unique experience to the visitor who is yet to be introduced to the wonders of this tiny island while for locals, it would definitely be three weeks of adventure in itself. The tournament will entice the visi- tors to visit this Island paradise time and time again and perhaps even make it their annual holiday destina- tion for many years to come.
The assistance, knowledge and the enthusiasm of International Cricket Council, Sri Lankan Cricket as well as of the Ministry of Sports have been immense explains Upekha Nell, Tournament Director – ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 Secretariat. “The ICC would not hand such a re- sponsibility to us if we are not capable and we will most definitely not take such a risk as a host. The fact is, we are ready and capable and looking forward to it eagerly” she said.