Colombo: The ICC has chosen an elephant named 'Stumpy' as the mascot for the World Cup 2011 to be held in the sub-continent.
The elephant"s name was unveiled Monday, 200 days before the start of the World Cup opening game, following an online contest.
The lucky winner will receive a cricket bat signed by India"s Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar and Sri Lanka"s Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena, all of whom attended the launch to express their excitement about the flagship event.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “This is another milestone in the build-up to our flagship event and it"s great to see the game"s best players like Mahendra, Kumar, Sachin and Mahela looking forward to the ICC Cricket World Cup with such enthusiasm.
“As the excitement builds over the coming 200 days, we will see Stumpy throughout the cricket world, promoting the event and generating enthusiasm. I"m grateful to the thousands of cricket fans who showed their passion for our Great Sport and took part in the naming competition. I encourage all fans to start making plans to attend a spectacular event."
With matches to be hosted in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is expecting the World Cup on home soil to be a career highlight.
He said: “It can"t get any bigger than the ICC Cricket World Cup in which the best of the best enter with just one objective – to take home the Cup that counts.
“It"s not only my dream to be a Cricket World Cup winner but it"s the wish of every member of team India to put his hand on the Cricket World Cup trophy. We"ll work as hard as possible to turn our dreams into reality.
“This trophy has been eluding us for the past 27 years and I think we have a very good chance at home to break the drought."
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said winning the Cricket World Cup has been his childhood dream.
“The Cricket World Cup is the apex of all the cricketing competitions. It is the one that all teams and players want to win. I was very fortunate to watch Sri Lanka win the tournament in 1996 and it has been my ambition to win the Cricket World Cup ever since I started playing cricket," he said.
“The World Cup means everything to us. It is the one point of the cricketing calendar everyone looks forward to and wants to win it. We just have to make sure that we understand how privileged we are to be in that position and carry the hopes and aspirations of so many people."