The Melbourne Cricket Ground will host the final of the 2015 World Cup,with New Zealands Christchurch to kick off the one-day tournament four years after being devastated by an earthquake. The March 29 final at the MCG comes 23 years after a bumper crowd saw Imran Khans Pakistan defeat England for their maiden World Cup at Melbournes 100,000-seat coliseum.
The semi-finals will be at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Aucklands Eden Park. The co-hosts have adjusted their international seasons to allow for the tournament,which will see 49 matches played over 44 days. Australias SCG,Adelaide Oval and the MCG will host three of the quarter-finals,with the fourth in New Zealands capital Wellington.
The 2015 World Cup will feature the 10 full member nations of the ICC plus Ireland,who have won qualification,and three other nations. Two of the remaining teams will be determined via a qualifying tournament in New Zealand in January 2014.
two groups of seven
Divided into two pools of seven,the teams play their group rivals in a round-robin format,with the top four from each pool qualifying for the quarter-finals. Pool matches have been split evenly between both countries with seven cities hosting three pool matches each.
India,who defeated Sri Lanka in their home World Cup final two years ago,have rarely prospered on Australias hard pitches and will play pool matches against West Indies and a qualifier on the countrys bounciest wicket at Perths WACA ground,which is located in a more broadcast-friendly time zone for Indian TV viewers than cities further east.
That follows two tough matches,a much anticipated opener against Pakistan at Adelaide Oval on February 15,and South Africa a week later.
The prospect of India being bundled out at the group stage would be an unedifying one for organisers and the nation of a billion people.
I heard its because of the broadcast, Kapil Dev,who captained the team to their maiden World Cup triumph in 1983,said at the launch. I think broadcasters want to make money and that cannot be avoided.
Hosts Australia will bid for a record fifth World Cup win and will face bitter rivals England in their opening match at the MCG on February 14.