Bangladesh will host India in the first match of the 2011 World Cup, the International Cricket Council have announced. India, set to stage 29 of the 49 matches across eight venues including a quarter-final, a semi-final and the final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, will tra-vel across the border for their first match on February 19. Sri Lanka, the other co-hosts, will stage 12 matches - including a quarter-final and a semi-final - while Bangladesh will host the opening ceremony on February 17 and the remainder of the matches, including two quarter-finals.
The 2011 tournament will be a week shorter than the 2007 tournament in the Caribbean. Sri Lanka will unveil two venues during the course of the tournament - Hambantota and Pallekele - and will take on Canada in their first match at Hambantota on February 20. Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara is of the opinion that the two new venues would boost cricket in Sri Lanka. "Everybody in Sri Lanka is excited about the new venues," he said.
"Pallekele [situated in the hill country of the Central Province] is just outside Kandy, and Hambantota is situated close to a beach." Pakistan, stripped of hosting rights over security concerns, will play their group matches in Sri Lanka and travel to India only if they reach the knockout rounds. * PA Sport Click to download the schedule for the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup