World Cup venues on track despite floods: Lanka President

Colombo, Jan 14 (PTI) With little more than a month to gofor the World Cup, heavy rain and flash floods have createdhavoc in Sri Lanka, but the country is all prepared to hostthe mega-event starting February 19, President of the islandnation Mahinda Rajapakse said.

The President said all the brand new venues in thecountry were on track to host World Cup matches despiteflooding in several parts of Sri Lanka.

"We are on track with the venues," Rajapakse toldColombo-based foreign correspondents at a meeting in hisTemple Trees residence here today.

"Unless there is something like a cyclone, we can goahead with the matches," he said.

Even though the Sooriyawewa International Stadium in thesouthern district of Hambantota, the home constituency ofRajapakse, has been affected badly by rains, the President wasoptimistic that the ground will be ready in time to host thethe World Cup matches.

Sri Lanka hosts 12 matches in the 2011 ICC Cricket WorldCup at three venues -- Colombo, Kandy and Hambantota.

But recently heavy monsoon rains have caused floods andmudslides in central and eastern regions of the islandcountry, leaving over one million people destitute and claimed27 lives.

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