Ladies & Gentleman, it is my pleasure & privilege, to welcome all of you this evening, as we are gathered here to witness a historic event, the international launch of the ticket, the mascot and unveiling of the ICC World cup in Sri Lanka.
Firstly, on behalf of all of us, let me convey our grateful thanks to His Excellency, President Mahinda Rajapakse, for accepting our invitation despite his numerous state duties to grace this occasion to offer his blessings. Thank you, your Excellency.
Not only in Cricket, that we need an astute leader to march towards victory. His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, weathered many a storm, faced numerous bounces, yet, stood tall, as a true leader with determination, courage and firm grit, and won the match for Sri Lanka by eradicating terrorism from our mother-land.
Our resolve and commitment to this gentleman`s game, was made easier due to the fact, that His Excellency, the President Honorable Mahinda Rajapakse, being a keen ambassador of this noble game, provided us much assistance and encouragement, whilst making this country one of the safest countries to live in, for which we are truly grateful.
After three decades of strife, as we now enjoy the fruits of peace, it has given us the opportunity to extend the international reach of cricket from Colombo to all districts of Sri Lanka.
Pallekelle, nestled in the hill country and Sooriyawewa in the deep South would enable fans the opportunity of going around our beautiful country and enjoy the hospitality of our people and see for themselves the splendor of the diverse culture and it’s scenic beauty.
The internationally renowned R. Premadasa Stadium – refurbished, will be the center stage with two new stadiums Pallekelle and Sooriyawewa for staging the 12 World cup matches allocated to us. I am sure that this would leave an everlasting legacy for future generations, and will be show pieces to be cherished by the cricket loving public for years to come.
As an Asian nation, co-hosting the most prestigious ICC World cup tournament with our brother nations, India & Bangladesh, it is not only a great opportunity to showcase our country, but an honour for which we are truly grateful to our governing body the ICC for having placed their trust and confidence in us.
Ladies and gentlemen, whilst thanking our Hon. Minister of Sports and Public Recreation Mr. Gamini Lokuge for his co-operation, support and guidance given to us at all times,
Let me thank the vice president of ICC Mr Sharad Pawer, all Directors of ICC, Representatives of ICC and members of the COC who are here with us today. It is indeed a source of encouragement to all of us.
Ladies & Gentleman, Let us assure the world, with our friendly neibhours India & Bangladesh that the 10th ICC World Cup 2011 will be one of the greatest sporting spectacles to be held in the sub-continent.
A special note of thanks goes to the ICC for joining hands with UNICEF to promote the `Spirit of Cricket` among our brothers and sisters from the North and East, formerly associated with arm groups and other disadvantaged children.
This project compliments the current rehabilitation and re-integration programs initiated by His Excellency,As showcased in this remarkable presentation…….
Your Excellency, Ladies & Gentleman, please do enjoy the rest of the evening.