Australia to open 2011 World Cup campaign versus Zimbabwe

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Mumbai, Nov 10 (ANI): Australia will open their World Cup defence in 2011 with a match against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad on February 21, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Monday.

Four-times winners Australia are in Group A for the One Day International competition along with former champions Pakistan and Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Canada, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

During the event ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that the world cup is an event that every cricketer aspires to win.

"We are very mindful that somebody that wins the World Cup deserves a fair award for reaching and winning such a glamorous event," he said.

India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands are pooled in Group B.

India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are together staging the 2011 event, with India hosting 29 of the tournament's 49 matches including the final at a renovated Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2.

Sharad Pawar, Vice-president of the ICC, said that the Wankhede Stadium would undergo renovation.

"We have decided to reconstruct the Wankhede Stadium and practically we have to spend about 200 crores for modernisation," he said.

Pakistan was stripped of hosting rights due to security concerns. They will play all their group matches in Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh and India play the first match of the tournament in Dhaka on February 19, two days after the opening ceremony in the same city.

In all, 13 venues will be used in the 43-day tournament. (ANI)

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