ADELAIDE OVAL is a sacred place for cricket fans, who will be pleased to know there are four matches scheduled for the historic ground during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
The Oval, founded in 1871, might look a bit different to the last time it hosted World Cup cricket in 1992 after a recent redevelopment, but the famous hill remains for those who prefer to kick back on the grass in front of the heritage scoreboard.
The action kicks off on Sunday 15 February when India meets Pakistan, before England meets Bangladesh on Monday 9 March.
Everyone likes to claim Irish roots, especially around St Patrick’s Day, and Ireland’s clash with Pakistan on Sunday March 15 is the perfect time to get out the shamrocks and have some fun before the knock-out stages commence with Adelaide’s quarter-final on Friday March 20.
Adelaide itself is known as the ‘city of churches’, featuring lush gardens and white sandy beaches, and is close to South Australia’s famous wine regions including the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills.
BELLERIVE OVAL is surely one of Australia’s most picturesque places to play or watch cricket. With formidable Mount Wellington looming in the background and the Derwent River close at hand, nothing beats settling in on the ground’s grassy hill for an afternoon of cricket.
Zimbabwe will play Ireland in the first of Hobart’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches on Saturday 7 March, before Scotland meets Ireland on Tuesday 24 February. Scottish fans will get a second dose on Saturday 14 March 14 when host Australia heads south for the final Hobart encounter.
Hobart itself is home to the world famous Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) as well as award-winning restaurants, a historic centre and bustling Salamanca Markets.
Tasmania has no shortage of stunning natural features, and highlights including Bruny Island, Gordon River and the Freycinet Peninsula are easily reached from the state’s capital.
CAKE TIN might sound like a baking reference, but residents of New Zealand’s capital city will know it actually refers to Wellington Regional Stadium – home to four ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches. The nickname comes from the stadium’s shape and silver walls, while the venue itself accommodates 34,000 and regularly hosts international and domestic cricket, rugby league and has even played host to Australian Football League matches in recent years.
On Friday 20 February the Cake Tin will heat up when New Zealand meets England in a Pool B match. England returns on Sunday 1 March to meet Sri Lanka, before United Arab Emirates will aim to cause a major upset against one of the tournament favourites, South Africa, on Thursday 12 March.
The action in Wellington concludes with a quarter-final on Saturday 21 March and in good news for New Zealand fans, this match will feature the home team should New Zealand qualify.
Wellington itself has been called ‘the coolest little capital’ by Lonely Planet and legend has it the North Island city has more bars and cafes per capita then New York.
DUNEDIN’S University Oval is a beautifully picturesque ground and spectators will be able to relax on University Oval’s grassy embankments and take in the scenic surrounds whilst watching their Cricket World Cup matches.
The city was created as a gold mining town by Scottish immigrants, so it should come as no surprise that Scotland will make two appearances in Dunedin during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
The Ground will play host to New Zealand’s clash against Scotland on Tuesday 17 February 17, while the new kids on the world cricket block, Afghanistan, will play Sri Lanka on Sunday 22 February.
Scotland and Afghanistan will return for Dunedin’s final match on Thursday 26 February in a match that is sure to be keenly fought between the two associates.
EDEN PARK was the scene for heartbreak for New Zealand fans at the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992, when Pakistan knocked out tournament favourites New Zealand in the semi-final.
New Zealand supporters will hope it’s a different story this time around when World Cup cricket returns to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.
Eden Park will host four World Cup matches, including the highly anticipated clash between the two host nations on 28 February, kiwi supporters have fonder memories of the Anzac clash of 1992 as Martin Crowe’s hundred led New Zealand to a famous victory in the opening match of the tournament.
Eden Park is New Zealand’s largest stadium and is sure to be packed to the rafters during the World Cup. Two other matches at the stadium will see South Africa play Pakistan on 7 March, and India clash with Zimbabwe on 14 March. The stadium will also play host the first Semi-Final on 24 March.
The North Island city - ranked the third most liveable city in the world – brings together breathtaking scenery and picturesque beaches, as well as a buzzing city centre and plenty of action and adventure for adrenaline junkies. The city is conveniently based just 90 minutes from another host city, Hamilton, making it easy for locals to get their fill of World Cup Cricket this summer.
FLEMING is a well-known name in world cricket with a special tie to Napier’s McLean Park. Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming and Nathan Astle share the record for the most runs scored at the ground, which has a reputation as a good batting strip for one-day cricket. An average of almost five runs per over are scored at McLean Park.
Given this, some of the world’s best batsman will be licking their lips in anticipation ahead of the three ICC Cricket World Cup matches scheduled for McLean Park.
Pakistan will play the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday 4 March in a day/night encounter, before New Zealand meets Afghanistan in an intriguing match-up on Sunday 8 March. UAE returns on Sunday 15 March, against West Indies.
Napier itself has plenty of surprises for visitors. Found in the heart of Hawke’s Bay, Napier enjoys one of New Zealand’s warmest, driest climates and is packed with wineries, farmers’ markets and artisan food producers.
McGRATH Foundation is Australia’s official host charity partner for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, while The Cancer Society has been appointed in New Zealand.
The two host charities will join the ICC’s global charity partners THINK WISE and Room to Read.
The McGrath Foundation was started 10 years ago out of the experience Jane McGrath and three-time World Cup champion Glenn McGrath had with breast cancer and raises money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia. It also raises breast awareness in young women. Glenn McGrath himself is the World Cup’s leading wicket taker of all-time.
The Cancer Society of New Zealand works to reduce the incidents and impact of cancer, while ensuring the best cancer care for everyone in New Zealand.
HAGLEY OVAL has taken on a new look for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. The Christchurch ground, which has hosted cricket for more than 150 years, has been redeveloped into a state-of-the-art venue following the closure of 1992 host venue Lancaster Park after the 2011 earthquake.
The summer of 2014-15 marks the return of international cricket to Christchurch for the first time since the devastating earthquake and the city will be in the mood to celebrate when it officially kicks off the 2015 tournament with New Zealand versus Sri Lanka on Saturday 14 February in the opening game of #cwc15.
Locals have a chance to see some of the world’s best teams in action during the tournament. Pakistan takes on West Indies on Saturday 21 February, and England plays Scotland on 23 February.
Christchurch is the South Island’s largest city, and offers visitors a long list of outdoor activities including bungy jumping, rafting, mountain biking, hot-air ballooning and wind surfing.
IRELAND are earning a reputation as giant killers when it comes to ICC Cricket World Cup cricket. The team makes its third World Cup appearance in 2015 and will hope to maintain its reputation for upsets, after beating Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2007 en route to a Super Eights appearance and famously England in 2011 as they broke a string of tournament records in that stunning win in Bangalore.
Ireland are sitting in Pool B alongside South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe and United Arab Emirates. Their first outing in #cwc15 is against West Indies in Nelson on Monday 16 February and with their ‘Blarney Army’ of supporters behind them they’ll fancy their chances.
Ireland qualified for #cwc15 with a stunning ICC World Cricket League Championship winning campaign where they topped the table as part of an associate treble of trophies in 2013.
The Boys in Green will be led ably by captain William Porterfield and boast a strong batting line up with Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson and the O’Brien brothers all looking to make another major impact on the world stage.
Nelson, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Hamilton and Adelaide play host to Ireland during the tournament.
JOLIMONT is the small East Melbourne locality that is home to the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, where some of history’s biggest sporting moments have occurred.
The ICC Cricket World Cup final will be held at the ‘G for the second time in 2015, after being the scene of Pakistan’s triumph over England in the 1992 final. The MCG will launch the World Cup in Australia when the host nation plays England on Saturday 14 February, while other matches at the ground include South Africa versus India, Sri Lanka versus Bangladesh and a quarter-final on Thursday 19 March.
Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, prides itself on being the ‘sporting capital’ of Australia and each year hosts big events including the Australian Open Tennis, the Australian Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup.
The MCG has played host to events including the 1956 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games, while sports played on the hallowed turf include AFL, cricket, rugby union, rugby league and soccer. The Australian National Sports Museum is also based at the ground.
KHAN - Imran Khan – was the winning captain the last time the ICC Cricket World Cup came to Australia and New Zealand in 1992. Khan scored a captain’s knock of 72 in the final to help his side defeat England on that occasion and all eyes will be on the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday 29 March to see which of the world’s current captains will hold the trophy aloft this time around.
Two men have captained their countries to World Cup wins on two occasions – West Indies’ Clive Lloyd in 1975 and 1979, and Australia’s Ricky Ponting in 2003 and 2007.
Lord of the rings
LORD OF THE RINGS and New Zealand have gone hand in hand ever since the epic movie trilogy based on the work of JR Tolkien was filmed there.
Scenes set in The Shire were filmed near Hamilton, giving movie buffs even more incentive to visit the central North Island city when it hosts three ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches.
South Africa plays Zimbabwe in the first match at Seddon Park on Sunday 15 February. Named after a former New Zealand prime minister, Seddon Park is a purpose-built international cricket facility with a village green setting and picnic-like atmosphere.
Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Scotland also feature in matches at the ground – voted by ‘The Cricketer’ magazine as one of the 20 best venues in the world to watch sport.
Hamilton is New Zealand's largest inland city and is situated on the banks of the Waikato River, close to iconic regional attractions including Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves, Raglan's surf coast and the Te Aroha Mineral Pools.
MANUKA OVAL will be the home of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia’s capital, Canberra.
This ground has been a cricket venue since 1930 and the annual Prime Minister’s XI match is played at the oval with many greats of the game turning out.
The first one-day international match played at Manuka Oval was during the 1992 World Cup when South Africa played Zimbabwe, and both of these teams will return to Canberra this time around.
The action kicks off on Wednesday 18 February when Bangladesh meets Afghanistan, while the other two games will see West Indies play Zimbabwe and South Africa take on Ireland.
Canberra itself turned 100 in 2013, and is known for being the federal seat of government in Australia.
It is also home to the Australian Institute of Sport, the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia and the Australian War Memorial.
NELSON is not only the host city for three ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches, this south island New Zealand host-city shares its name with the cricketing term ‘Nelson’, applied to team or individual scores of 111.
Former International umpire David Shepherd’s superstition of the number was well-known, with the umpire standing on one leg whenever 111 was brought up. The tradition has been carried on by fans ever since.
Expect to see plenty of people standing on one leg when West Indies meets Ireland at Saxton Oval on 16 February. Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Scotland and United Arab Emirates will also play in the city, which is the second-oldest settled city in New Zealand, and includes everything from golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains.
ONE-DAY Internationals are what the ICC Cricket World Cup is all about. The first ODI was played on January 5 1971 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and the first Cricket World Cup was held in England four years later in 1975.
In 2015, 49 one-day internationals will be played over 44 days in 14 cities across Australia and New Zealand.
PERTH’S home of cricket, the WACA, is renowned for its quick and bouncy pitches and lightning fast outfield. Fast bowlers will be rubbing their hands together in anticipation of playing at the western-most host city, where three games are scheduled.
India meets United Arab Emirates on Saturday 28 February, while Australia’s only match at the WACA is against Afghanistan on Wednesday 4 March, before India returns on Friday 6 March to play West Indies.
The site of Glenn McGrath’s Test hat-trick in 2000, and Matthew Hayden’s then Test-record of 380 in 2003, the WACA was opened in 1893 and has played host to sports including athletics, AFL, baseball, soccer, rugby union and international rules football.
The WACA Museum is housed onsite and covers the history of cricket and other sports played at the famous ground. Perth is Australia’s sunniest state capital and has plenty to offer visitors, including stunning beaches, wineries and famous Rottnest Island.
QUARTER finals will mark the start of the really serious stuff in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. No more second chances, it will be do or die for the top eight teams who qualify for the knock-out stages of the tournament.
The four quarter finals will be played in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Wellington.
In good news for local fans, Australia will play at Adelaide Oval should it make it to the quarter finals, while New Zealand would play in Wellington.
The closest result in a quarter-final came in the 1996 World Cup, when West Indies defeated South Africa by 19 runs. A big ton from Brian Lara helped West Indies to 264-8, before South Africa was bowled out for 245 in reply.
RUNNERS-UP – it is a case of so close yet so far for the team which stumbles at the final hurdle.
For England, the pain of finishing runners-up has happened on three occasions – in 1979, 1987 and 1992. Of those, the most heartbreaking was 1987, when Australia won by just seven runs.
It is hard to know which is more painful: being thrashed in a final or losing by a narrow margin? England’s loss to Australia does down as the closest result in a World Cup final, while Australia also recorded the biggest win in a final, smashing India by 125 runs in 2003.
Sri Lanka has finished second in the last two World Cups and will no doubt be hungry to take the extra step this time around.
SYDNEY Cricket Ground has been the scene of many great sporting moments throughout its 150-year history.
Many more memorable moments are set to be created at the ground during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with four matches scheduled for Australia’s biggest city - including a quarter and semi final.
South Africa and West Indies start the action on Friday 27 February, before Australia meets Sri Lanka on Sunday 8 March and England plays Afghanistan on Friday 13 March.
The SCG will also host two knock-out matches, with the quarter-final to take place on Wednesday 18 March ahead of a semi-final on Thursday 26 March.
The ground also hosted four games in the 1992 World Cup, including the controversial semi-final where England defeated South Africa by 19 runs after rain affected the target needed by South Africa.
South Africa needed 22 runs from 13 balls, but after a 10-minute rain delay, the revised total became 21 runs from one ball. The rule was changed after the tournament as a result and Duckworth-Lewis will be in use at this year’s tournament.
Sydney is known around the world as Australia’s leading tourism destination and has no shortage of iconic sights including the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
TROPHY Tour – to celebrate the ICC Cricket World Cup’s return to Australia and New Zealand the World Cup trophy is going on tour around both countries. Plenty of surprises are in store for the famous trophy (or in this case, two trophies – one in each country!) as visits all corners of the host nations.
The New Zealand leg kicked off in Auckland on 6 November, while the Australian leg kicked off four days later on 10 November in Geraldton, Western Australia.
The #cwctrophytour has already had an international dimension with it visiting many of the 14 participating nations over the months leading up to the 100 Days to Go Launch on 6 November.
The trophy travelling around Australia is the perpetual World Cup trophy while the exact replica, which the winning national will keep, is touring New Zealand.
Fans will have the chance to get their photo taken with the trophy at events around both countries during the tour, while the journey will be tracked using #cwctrophytour.
United Arab Emirates
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, underdogs and upsets are all words you can expect to hear repeated often during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
UAE are making their second appearance at cricket’s biggest event and their only previous appearance came in 1996, when it finished 11th. On that occasion, UAE left the tournament with one win after beating Netherlands by seven wickets.
UAE qualified to compete in the 2015 edition with their second place finish in the CWC Qualifying tournament in New Zealand in early 2014. Coached by 1992 World Cup winner Aqib Javed, UAE will be capable of causing an upset in any of its six Pool B matches.
UAE are in Pool B alongside Pakistan, West Indies, Ireland, Zimbabwe, India and South Africa, and fans interested in checking out this up-and-coming cricket nation can check them out in Nelson, Napier, Wellington, Brisbane and Perth.
VULTURE Street is a well-known location for anyone who has attended, watched or listened to cricket at the Gabba. Brisbane’s home of cricket is named after the suburb of Woolloongabba, where the ground can be found on - you guessed it - Vulture Street.
The Gabba will be an ICC Cricket World Cup venue for the second time in 2015. In 1992, the ground was the scene of a nail-biting encounter between Australia and India, when Dean Jones scored 90 as the host nation held on to win by one run.
This time, the Gabba is host to three matches, including Australia’s clash with Bangladesh on Saturday 21 February. Ireland will play United Arab Emirates and Pakistan meets Zimbabwe in the other two Brisbane-based games.
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and is only a short drive from both the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
WINNING teams in the ten ICC Cricket World Cups to date have come from five countries. Australia has the best record of any nation, with four wins in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007, while India (1983 and 2011) and West Indies (1975 and 1979) have each won two.
The world will be watching the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday 29 March to see which nation takes its place in history as the 2015 champion.
Last time the World Cup was held in Australia and New Zealand In 1992, England went into the final with confidence after bowling Pakistan out for a paltry 74 earlier in the tournament. The final started in a similar fashion when Derek Pringle dismissed both Pakistan openers at 24, but Pakistan recovered to score 249-6 as Pakistan captain Imran Khan top-scored with 72. England was bowled out for 227 in reply and Wasim Akram was named player of the match.
XI – or eleven – is a common way of referring to a cricket team. Here are some of the other key numbers for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: 11 – The number of ICC Cricket World Cups to have taken place including the 2015 edition. 2 – The number of times Australia and New Zealand have hosted the event. 4 – The World Cup is held every four years. 14 – The number of teams competing. 49 – The number of matches to be played between Saturday February 14 and Sunday March 29. 50 – The number of overs in each innings. 2019 – The next World Cup will be held in England and Wales.
YUVRAJ SINGH was named man of the tournament for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 after a dominant performance where he scored 362 runs and picked up 15 wickets over nine matches. The award has been handed out since 1992 with the winner announced after the final.
The first winner was New Zealand’s Martin Crowe, who scored 456 runs for the tournament, while recent winners have included Sachin Tendulkar (2003) after 673 runs and Glenn McGrath (2007) 26 wickets.
Any one of cricket’s superstars could take out the 2015 award and all will be revealed after the final at the MCG on Sunday 29 March.
ZIMBABWE is making its ninth appearance at the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015.
The African nation first joined the tournament in 1983 and became a full-member nation of the International Cricket Council in 1992.
Zimbabwe’s best results came in 1999 and 2003 when the team made it through to the final ‘Super 6’ but they have yet to progress through to the knock-out stages of the tournament.
That could change in 2015 and this time Zimbabwe find themselves in Pool B with South Africa, England, Pakistan, West Indies, India and United Arab Emirates.
To catch Zimbabwe in action, head to one or more of their games in Auckland, Hamilton, Nelson, Brisbane, Canberra or Hobart.