ICC move warm-up matches out of Pallekele due to heavy rain

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Bangalore, Feb 10 (PTI) Persistent rain has forced theInternational Cricket Council (ICC) to relocate two World Cupwarm-up matches from Pallekele in Sri Lanka.

The ICC is yet to name the new venues for the matches --Sri Lanka v Netherlands on February 12 and Netherlands v Kenyamatches on February 15.

The decision was taken by local and ICC officialsfollowing a recommendation by ICC pitch consultant AndyAtkinson after he inspected the venue on Wednesday.

"The decision to switch the warm-up matches away fromPallekele is common sense and is one that is fully supportedby all stakeholders as it will allow the groundstaff the timethey need, following those recent heavy rains, to produceexcellent pitches for the tournament matches that will takeplace there," Tournament Director Ratnakar Shetty said in astatement.

Pallekele will host three matches in the World Cup,starting with the clash between New Zealand and Pakistan onMarch 8, followed by Sri Lanka''s match-up with Zimbabwe onMarch 10 and concluding with the Pakistan v Zimbabwe fixtureon March 12.

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