Sri Lanka to hire cruise liner for World Cup fans

Colombo: Sri Lanka plans to hire a cruise liner to accommodate cricket World Cup fans and spectators at the newly built stadium in the island`s south, an official said.

The six-million dollar stadium in Hambantota, President Mahinda Rajapakse`s hometown, lacks hotels to accommodate thousands of fans expected to watch the games in February-April next year.

"Star-classed hotel facilities are enough for only two teams and the cruise ship can accommodate up to 1,000 people," Sri Lankan World Cup official Suraj Dandeniya told reporters.

International Cricket Council rules require each venue to have five-star facilities to house between 500 and 1,000 players, officials, media and fans.

"The ship will be used mainly for spectators, officials and the media contigent that will be following the two games allotted to the venue," said Dandeniya.

Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh are co-hosting the 14-nation showpiece held every four years. Pakistan, the fourth Test-playing nation in South Asia, were removed as co-hosts due to security concerns in the volatile country.

Known as the Suriyawewa Stadium, the Hambantota venue will host its maiden international game when Sri Lanka play Canada in the World Cup on February 20.

The other match at the venue is between Pakistan and Kenya on February 23.

The 43-day tournament will be played across 13 venues in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and ends with the final on April 2 at Mumbai`s Wankhede stadium.



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