powered by

11 February 201402:47

World Cup presence a tribute to New Zealand and Australian defence forces

The ICC Cricket World Cup trophy and the tournament’s New Zealand ambassador Sir Richard Hadlee were both on hand today at the start of the annual New Zealand Defence Force Inter-Services Cricket Tournament in Blenheim, New Zealand.

World Cup presence a tribute to New Zealand and Australian defence forces - Cricket News

Australian & NZ troops play cricket at Gallipoli, 1915. Courtesy of the NZ Cricket Museum

This Friday marks the launch of public ticket sales and one year until the opening game of the tournament between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Blenheim’s neighbouring city, Nelson, will host three pool matches.

It will be 23 years since New Zealand and Australia last hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1992, and Head of New Zealand for the local organising committee, Therese Walsh, said tournament organisers recognised the symbolism of having this trans-Tasman event held in the same year as our countries will mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landings.

“Every time New Zealand and Australia come together on a sporting field is very special. There’s a fierce rivalry but also a special bond that was forged in that and subsequent campaigns. I think the pool match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park, in particular, will be a very special occasion.”

The annual New Zealand Defence Force Inter-Services Cricket Tournament is being played at Blenheim’s Horton Park between 11 and 13 February. Today’s opening matches see a trans-Tasman clash between the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force, while the Royal New Zealand Navy take on the New Zealand Army.

The presence this morning of Therese Walsh, Sir Richard Hadlee and the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy marks the start of a week-long celebration to launch public ticket sales. This will also involve public events on Thursday in each of New Zealand’s seven host cities, with Nelson’s to be held at Trafalgar Square between 12.00pm and 1.30pm, as well as events and giveaways in and around the second test between New Zealand and India at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 ambassador Sir Richard Hadlee said: “There couldn’t be a better way to start the week than with a trans-Tasman cricket match, but the reason for being here today is to recognise the privilege of having the World Cup share 2015 with such a significant centenary and to thank these players and their colleagues throughout the New Zealand and Australian defence forces for their contribution and sacrifices.”.

“While cricket fans will be looking forward to seeing big names like India and England, it’s also very special to have Afghanistan playing in their first ICC Cricket World Cup. Their journey to the tournament has seen them overcome incredible obstacles on and off the field, and it is in no small way due to the New Zealand and Australian defence forces,” he said.

Nelson World Cup Fixtures

Mon 16 Feb 2014 West Indies v Ireland
Thu 19 Feb 2014 Zimbabwe v UAE
Thu 5 Mar 2014 Bangladesh v Scotland