Dubai, July 4: The ICC Cricket World Cup trophy will visit countries that will participate in next year's extravaganza to be staged in Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced yesterday (July 3).
The first stopover of the trophy will be Sri Lanka, which won cricket's ultimate prize in Lahore when India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka jointly hosted the tournament in 1996, ICC said in a media release.
The prestigious silverware will arrive in Colombo on a three-day tour on Friday 4 July, where it will be received by six members of the World Cup winning squad, namely Marvan Atapattu, Upul Chandana, Aravinda de Silva, Hashan Tillerkaratne, Chaminda Vaas and Pramodaya Wickramsinghe.
During its stay, the trophy will feature at a number of events and will also be on display during the first One-Day International between Sri Lanka and South Africa at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on 6 July.
Sri Lanka will feature in the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 when it will go head to head with co-host New Zealand in Christchurch.
The trophy will return to Dubai on 7 July, before embarking on a five-day tour of India on 19 July. India is the reigning world champion and will play 1992 winner Pakistan in its opening match in Adelaide on 15 February.
Also this month, the trophy will visit Bangladesh on 25 and 26 July. Bangladesh's first match is against qualifier Afghanistan at Manuka Oval, Canberra, on 18 February.
After visiting 12 countries over four months, the trophy will arrive in Melbourne on 6 November in time for the 100 days to go celebrations, details of which will be announced in due course.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: "To hold the Cricket World Cup trophy is the dream of every cricketer.
"The upcoming World Cup will be a great opportunity to watch your team take on the world's best and enjoy the hospitality of two beautiful but very different countries. It is significant that the trophy is beginning its journey from Dubai, not only because it has been the home of the ICC since 2005, but also because the UAE has qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1996."
About the trophy
The current trophy was created for the 1999 champion, Australia, and was the first permanent prize in the tournament's history. Prior to this, different trophies were made for each ICC Cricket World Cup.
The trophy was designed and produced in London by a team of craftsmen from Garrard & Co over a period of two months. It is made from silver and gilt, and features a golden globe held up by three silver columns. The columns, shaped as stumps and bails, represent the three fundamental aspects of cricket: batting, bowling and fielding, while the globe represents a cricket ball. The trophy stands 60cm high and weighs approximately 11kg. The names of the previous winners are engraved on the base of the trophy, with space for a total of twenty inscriptions.
The tentative dates for the trophy tour are:
4-6 July - Sri Lanka
19-23 July - India
25-26 July - Bangladesh
18-28 August - United Kingdom
30 August - Scotland
2-3 September - Ireland
11-13 September - Pakistan
16 September - Afghanistan
25-27 September - South Africa
2 October - Zimbabwe
9-11 October - United Arab Emirates
16 October - Jamaica
17 October - Barbados
From 6 November - Australia and New Zealand