ICC announces World T20 venues

DUBAI: Pakistan will begin its title defence in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 against Bangladesh at St. Lucia on May 1. The tournament will be staged at four venues - Barbados, Guyana, St Kitts and St Lucia - and the final will be played at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on May 16.

The 2007 World Cup, the premier 50-over tournament, was held in the West Indies and the World Twenty20 will present an opportunity to the island nations to set right some of the criticism directed at the 2007 tournament.

Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, was confident that the tournament would be a success among the spectators. "One measure of success will be to fill the venues and to try to achieve this we have worked hard with the West Indies Cricket Board to ensure the ticket prices are extremely competitive," he said.

"In Barbados, Guyana, St Kitts and St Lucia we have four outstanding venues, something that was shown in 2007 when they hosted matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup, and we know that West Indian spectators enjoy the format as they have already embraced Twenty20 at domestic level."

The tournament will also see women's matches played alongside the men, a concept that was used in the recently concluded World Twenty20 in England. "I'm delighted we have retained the men's and women's tournaments in one event with the respective semi-finals and finals being played on the same days at the same venues," said Lorgat. "This will again provide women's cricket with a great platform to showcase the talents of the top players."

In an effort to spread out major tournaments so two important events are not held close to each other, the ICC has decided to host the Twenty20 World Cup in 2010, between the Champions Trophy in October 2009 and the World Cup to be held in 2011.