The opening ceremony of the 2011 Cricket World Cup will be held on February 17 in Bangladesh and the first match would take place on February 19 in the same country, the ICC announced on Wednesday.

The ICC had earlier said both the opening ceremony and the opening game would be held on February 19 in Bangladesh.

But the full match schedule with venues would be announced on November 9, it was decided by the Central Organising Committee (COC) of the mega event that met here to continue preparations for the tournament.

The venues where the matches would be held in the three host nations — India, Bangladesh and Sri Laka — would be inspected in October/November, the COC decided.

Tournament director Ratnakar Shetty said the meeting was a productive one and the organisers were operating at a brisk pace to make it a great success.

“This was another productive meeting and we have continued to make real progress. We are operating at full steam ahead for what should be a great event in 2011 and there is a great spirit of cooperation among the hosts and the ICC,” he said.

The COC also approved the operational plan and event budget. All these matters would have to be vetted by the Finance Committee and the board of the ICC.

The meeting, held under the chairmanship of ICC vice-president Sharad Pawar, was attended by ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat and representatives of the three host countries.

Pakistan, previously the tournament’s fourth host nation, was not present and will not attend any future meetings of the COC following the settlement made with the ICC last week whereby it was agreed the Pakistan Cricket Board would be relieved of its obligations as a co-hosts, the ICC said.

The meeting was a routine gathering to discuss details relating to the staging of the event, it said, adding the next meeting would be held in Mumbai on November 9.

Those attending the Central Organising Committee meeting in Mumbai were: Chairman and ICC vice-president Sharad Pawar, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat, ICC Principal Advisor IS Bindra, ICC General Manager (Commercial) Campbell Jamieson and Tournament Director Ratnakar Shetty.

Besides, BCCI President Shashank Manohar, Secretary N Srinivasan and treasurer MP Pandove were also among those attended the meeting.

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