World Cups and World Championships of 2011

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World Cups in rugby, cricket, and indoor hockey along with World Championships in table tennis and badminton await sports fans in 2011, along with Under-17 and Under-20 FIFA youth tournaments for those wanting a fix of international football, or on the lookout for the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Hockey: 3rd Indoor World Cup
February 8-13
Poznan, Poland

There are to be 76 matches between 24 teams during an event that unites the Mens' and Womens' World Cups. Mens' champion Germany will be looking to add another trophy to their cabinet, having won the previous two Cups, while the Netherlands are title holders in the Womens' tournament.

Cricket: 10th Cricket World Cup
February 19 - April 2
India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

49 One Day Internationals are shared among stadia in India (8), Sri Lanka (3), and Bangladesh (2). The group stage lasts until March 20, after which the top four teams from each of the two groups go through to the Quarter-Finals on March 23-26. The semis and the final are to take place in India.

Table Tennis: 51st World Table Tennis Championships
May 8-15
Rotterdam, Netherlands

Expecting to welcome 700 players from 140 countries, the tournament is likely to be dominated by China, who have won 73 of the WTTCs' 80 medals on offer since 1991. There's still plenty of competition among the top players - Men's World #2 Timo Boll of Germany has been in the top 5 since 2008, while Women's #3 Tianwei Feng (Singapore) moved into the top 5 early in 2010.

Soccer: 14th FIFA U-17 World Cup & qualifying tournaments
June 18 - July 10

There'll be twenty-four youth teams at 2011's Under-17 soccer world cup, but only five are certain at the end of 2010. The rest qualify as a result of progress made at U-17 tournaments in Africa (Rwanda, January 7-22), Oceania (New Zealand, January 8-15), the Americas (Jamaica, February 14-27; Ecuador, March 15 - April 15), and Europe (May 3-15).

Soccer: 18th FIFA U-20 World Cup & qualifying tournaments
July 29 - August 20

Host nation Colombia welcome the top six from Europe's 2010 Under-19 Football Championship (winners France, plus Spain, England, Croatia, Portugal, and Austria), and four from Asia's equivalent (champions Korea DPR, plus Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Korea Republic). Four more come from each regional championship in South America (January 16 - February 6), Africa (March 18 - April 1), North & Central America (April 3-17), and one more from the Oceania U-20s (April 18-29).

Badminton: 19th BWF World Championships
August 8-14
London, England

The World Championships comprise five tournaments: Men's singles and doubles, Women's singles and doubles, and Mixed doubles. Strong showings are expected from Malaysia, Denmark, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, and India. England's top mixed doubles pairing, Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork, became a top 10 team in 2010.

Rugby: 7th Rugby World Cup
September 9 - October 23
New Zealand

Defending champions South Africa need to keep current world number ones New Zealand at bay, as well as France, Canada, Australia, Fiji, Japan, the USA, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.