14 January 2015
15 things to look forward to at ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
It is exactly one month to go to the start of the World Cup, so to mark the occasion, here's 15 things to look forward to at ICC Cricket World Cup '15
The tournament begins on February 14.
1) The Fans! Much of the success of the ICC Cricket World Cup comes from the fans that cheer their teams in victory and in defeat, through thick and thin. With fans from around the world gathering at the different venues, we expect to see the Barmy Army, the Blarney Army, the Bharat Army and many others cheering their teams on.
The Barmy Army, also known as the unofficial 12th man of the England team, is the United Kingdom’s largest fan group that travels both around home and overseas to cheer its team. Established during the 1995-96 Ashes in Australia, the Army often creates a unique mood at the grounds with its songs and can be identified easily.
The Bharat Army travels with India to cheer them around the world. Formed during the 1999 World Cup by four members, it has continued to extend its support to the current World Cup holders.
A group of friends from Ireland travelled to the 2007 World Cup to support its team in the West Indies. Now known as the Blarney Army, the fans can be easily identified because of the Ireland jersey they wear to matches.
To go to Fanzone, click here.
2. The Venues: The 2015 edition will be hosted at some of the most iconic cricketing venues in the World right across Australia and New Zealand. The final will be held at Melbourne Cricket Ground, which can house more than 100,000 fans. Other venues in Australia are WACA in Perth, Adelaide Oval, the historic Sydney Cricket Ground, Manuka Oval in Canberra, Bellerive Oval in Hobart and Gabba in Brisbane.
Across in New Zealand, picturesque venues like Eden Park in Auckland, Hagley Oval in Christchurch, Seddon Park in Hamilton, McLean Park in Napier, Saxton Oval in Nelson, the modern Wellington Regional Stadium and University Oval in Dunedin will host 21 matches of the tournament.
There are fourteen venues in total, seven in Australia and seven in New Zealand and you can see all the details including video venue guides by clicking here.
3. The History: In the lead up to the World Cup, we’ve been listing some of the most iconic performances in the ten Cricket World Cups so far in the ongoing 100 Greatest World Cup Moments Countdown. Take a view through the Sixty Plus moments already published by clicking here.
4. Sixes! And lots of them. Batsmen continue to astonish in the modern era with their power, brashness and confidence, smashing the bowlers all over the park over the years. The likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shahid Afridi, David Warner and others will be at it once again. With the average score rising in past decade and with so many innovative shots being played now, we expect even more sixes being hit in this edition.
Here’s a list of the most famous CWC six hitters.
5. Lights Camera Action: Broadcast with Star Sports, The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will be the most comprehensive Television broadcast in the history of ICC Cricket World Cups with state of the art technology being used, more innovations than ever before, the largest potential audience of alltime and the most exciting commentating line-up for any World Cup so far.
More details will be announced in the lead up to the World Cup here.
6. Online Coverage: The ICC will also be launching an all-new Online Match Centre with integrated match highlight videos, pictures and will also feature the fastest live scoring online.
7. Fantasy League: The ICC will also be launching official World Cup fantasy game and will give the fans across the globe a chance to pick their own teams and compete against each other. The ICC Cricket World Cup Official Fantasy League will be launched on 20th January 2015 and the winners will be rewarded exciting prizes.
8. New Stars: Every World Cup has seen some youngsters burst into the limelight with match changing innings. For example: Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was just 22 when he played his first World Cup, changed the course of the semi-final match in 1992 when he smashed 60 off just 37 balls against South Africa – described by many as the knock of a lifetime – to steal an improbable victory and put Pakistan in the final.
This edition will also see some new faces in cricket compete in cricket’s showpiece event. India opener Rohit Sharma, who holds the record for highest individual score in an One-Day International, will be playing his first World Cup. The talented right-hand batsman has led India to many triumphs and is expected to one of the pillars of India’s campaign.
England’s Moeen Ali, who is just 12 ODIs old as of now, impressed everyone with his all-round performance in his debut series against the West Indies. In his fourth ODI, he smashed 67 off 40 balls and helped England go past the 200-run mark. England will bank on his aggressive approach at the top of the order for a good start but Eoin Morgan & Co. will bank on his handy offspin to restrict the runs during the middle overs as well.
Australia’s Steve Smith has hit a purple patch in the ongoing Test series against India and has scored three consecutive centuries. If he can continue with his form, and with the advantage of playing in familiar conditions, he’ll be a potent threat to all the teams.
Afghanistan made it to the 2015 World Cup with an impressive performance in the ICC World Cricket League Championship. The side will be led by allrounder Mohammad Nabi. He’s the only Afghanistan player to score more than 1000 runs in ODI cricket and also is the third-highest wicket taker for Afghanistan with 38 wickets from 41 matches. The latest entrant to the World Cup will bank on Nabi’s experience to spring in a few surprises.
9. Drama! With every team eyeing glory at the World Cup, we have had some really tight finishes over the years. In the ten World Cups so far, there have been four tied games with the latest one being played between India and England in 2011 in a high-scoring encounter in Bangalore. India scored 338, with Sachin Tendulkar (120) scoring his 98th international century. England rode on Andrew Strauss’s 158 but late wickets hurt its chances and the match ended in a tie.
Australia and South Africa played out a tie in the semi-final of the 1999 World Cup. Chasing 205 to reach its first World Cup final, South Africa suffered a disastrous run out in the final over and Australia advanced thanks to a better finish in the Super Sixes.
With big bats, innovative stroke-play and some fearless cricket being played nowadays, the 2015 edition is expected to witness some more close encounters. With the pitches offering help for everyone, even low scores are being defended, making it interesting for the fans.
Take a look at the top ten closest finishes in World Cup history here.
10. Underdogs and Upsets: The CWC has witnessed plenty of close encounters and a few upset as well over the years. Every team comes well prepared for the tournament and underestimating a team or some breathtaking individual performances have resulted in some unexpected results.
For example: On 2 March 2011, Kevin O’Brien put cricket on the front pages in Ireland with a stunning win over England. Chasing a target of over 300, he smashed the fastest century in CWC history, off 50 balls, and led Ireland to a three-wicket win.
In the 1999 edition, Bangladesh defeated Pakistan by 63 runs to secure a memorable win. Bangladesh successfully defended a modest total off 223 to register a 63-run win.
With the likes of Scotland, Afghanistan, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates preparing for the World Cup with the ICC High Performance Programme tour, designed to get them familiar to the conditions in Australia and New Zealand, it won’t be surprising if the teams script some memorable upsets during the course of the tournament.
11. Bowlers of all varieties: Both Australia and New Zealand offer plenty of help to the pacers. With the likes of ICC Cricketer of the Year Mitchell Johnson, Dale Steyn, Adam Milne and Stuart Broad around, batsmen are likely to have it tough.
However, with the pitched offering good bounces for the spinners as well, the likes of R Ashwin, Daniel Vettori, Shahid Afridi and Rangana Herath will bank on the variations and bounce to be a vital cogs in the wheel of their teams.
12. Great Value Tickets: To make the CWC more accessible for the fans, tickets have been priced at $5 for children and $20 for adults. With the tickets selling like hot cakes, and with plenty of fans flocking to Australia and New Zealand from overseas, the atmosphere is guaranteed to be electric.
13. The Most Social World Cup Ever! The ICC has over 9.8 Million likes on Facebook and close 4.4 million likes on the CWC page. To add to that, 1.4 million followers on twitter and over 83,000 followers elsewhere, the ICC will reach out to the fans using social media with trivia, pictures, videos and an extensive coverage of the mega event. The official hashtag for the World Cup is #cwc15.
14. All Time Greats: With less than two months to go for the tournament, ICC has launched ‘Your Greatest XI’, which will allow fans a unique chance to pick their Greatest All-Time Cricket World Cup XIs from the previous ten editions of the event.
The ICC database consists of over 100 of the greatest World Cup players of all time. A photo and a short profile that describes their World Cup records and their memorable impacts at the event is available for each player. The ICC also lists detailed World Cup statistics for each of the players.
The players fall under four different categories – batsmen, bowlers, all-rounders, and wicketkeepers. Each XI you choose should feature at least two batsmen, one all-rounder, one wicketkeeper and two bowlers. Mathew Hayden has already picked his Greatest XI.
You can pick your Greatest XI here.
15. Volunteers: In this World Cup, more than 3000 volunteers would be deployed throughout the 14 host cities to welcome fans from around the world.
With more than a million people set to attend matches and more than a billion to watch on television around the world, the volunteers are going a play a huge role in making this tournament a success.
Around the wicket with: Stephen Fleming
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Squads by the Numbers