Sri Lanka to hire cruise liner for World Cup fans

June 1, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka plans to hire a cruise liner to accommodate cricket World Cup fans and spectators at the newly built stadium in the island’s south, an official said on Tuesday. The six-million dollar stadium in Hambantota, President Mahinda Rajapakse’s hometown, lacks hotels to accommodate thousands of fans expected to watch the games in February-April next year.

“Star-classed hotel facilities are enough for only two teams and the cruise ship can accommodate up to 1,000 people,” Sri Lankan World Cup official Suraj Dandeniya told AFP.

International Cricket Council rules require each venue to have five-star facilities to house between 500 and 1,000 players, officials, media and fans.

“The ship will be used mainly for spectators, officials and the media contigent that will be following the two games allotted to the venue,” said Dandeniya.

Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh are co-hosting the 14-nation showpiece held every four years. Pakistan, the fourth Test-playing nation in South Asia, were removed as co-hosts due to security concerns in the volatile country.

Known as the Suriyawewa Stadium, the Hambantota venue will host its maiden international g