Today marks 500 days to the opening matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
On 14 February 2015 in Christchurch, New Zealand will play 2011 finalists Sri Lanka while later the same day Australia will take on traditional rival England in a blockbuster at the MCG in Melbourne.
Australian cricketer Brett Lee joined New South Wales Minister for Sport, Gabrielle Upton, young cricketers from Mosman Cricket Club and ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Chief Executive John Harnden to mark the occasion on the historic Sydney tall ship, Southern Swan.
Mr Harnden said preparations for the tournament, one of the biggest events in international sport, were on track with ticket information to be released next month.
“Sydney Harbour is an iconic Australian landmark that so many people around the world relate to,” Mr Harnden said, “and we expect to welcome fans here from all over the world in 2015.
“Australia and New Zealand have a well-deserved reputation for staging the biggest and best major events which add significant value to the economy, such as the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and the International Fleet Review beginning in Sydney tomorrow. We’re confident the ICC Cricket World Cup will attract cricket fans from around the globe and also promote both countries internationally -especially in India and other parts of south Asia. “
A total of 49 matches will be played in the 44-day tournament across 14 venues in the two countries as the best cricketers push their skills and endurance to the limits for the ultimate prize. Australia will stage 21 pool matches in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, whilst the other 21 pool matches in New Zealand will be held in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson and Wellington.
“We want as many fans as possible to be a part of this event and with such diverse communities in both countries, we’ll be working hard over the next 500 days to ensure everyone has a team to follow and that they can attend a match to play their part in 2015,” Mr Harnden said.
Quarter-finals will be played in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Wellington, with Sydney and Auckland hosting a semi-final each and Melbourne the final on 29 March 2015. The 14 qualified teams need to play in both Australia and New Zealand if they are to claim cricket’s ultimate prize.
Speaking at the event in Sydney, Brett Lee said that he was looking forward to Australia showing the world what a great event the country can put on.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity for fans and families to experience the magic of the ICC Cricket World Cup. I’m really looking forward to both Sydney and Australia making the 2015 summer one that inspires young cricketers and provides lasting memories.”
Full ticketing details will be announced in November, but fans are encouraged to register at www.cricketworldcup.com to secure access to pre-sales for all ICC Cricket World Cup matches, including the finals series.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 02 October, 2013 5:56PM AEDT