Sri Lanka has been included in Pool A alongside England, Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Qualifier 2 and Qualifier 3 for the 2015 cricket world cup to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Melbourne will host the World Cup final in 2015, while Sydney and Auckland will hosts semi-finals just as they did in 1992, ESPN cricinfo reported.
Among other key fixtures, the previously earthquake-stricken Christchurch will host the tournament’s opening match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka on February 14 at Hagley Oval, while later that same day Australia will play England at the MCG. The cup holders India will commence their tournament by facing Pakistan in Adelaide the following day.
Many luminaries were on hand in Melbourne’s Docklands for the announcement, including the ICC chief executive Dave Richardson who kept wicket for South Africa at the 1992 event, alongside Dennis Lillee, Ian Chappell, Kapil Dev, Sanath Jayasuriya, Adam Gilchrist and Michael Hussey.
“The ICC Cricket World Cup is the flagship tournament of the 50-over game. The 2015 tournament will mark 40 years since the first World Cup in 1975 and that history of great contests and heroes helps make the tournament what it is – the most sought after prize in our increasingly global game,” Richardson said.
“The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will be returning to Australia and New Zealand after 23 years and will be staged at the back of two outstanding 50-over ICC events – the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013. I’m absolutely confident that the success of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will further strengthen the status of 50-over cricket as a successful and viable format alongside Tests and Twenty20 Internationals.”
The tournament will feature 49 matches across 44 days in 14 cities throughout February and March of 2015. Australia’s 2014-15 Test summer has been shortened to a mere four matches against India in order to leave room for the cup’s lengthy schedule. A 14-team format has the competitors pitted in two groups of seven, each to play six pool matches before the top four in each group advance to the quarter-finals, semis and final.
Pool A: England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Qualifier 2 and Qualifier 3
Pool B: South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies Zimbabwe, Ireland and Qualifier 4
Venue cities: Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Canberra, Christchurch, Dunedin, Napier, Nelson, Hamilton, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Wellington