ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
The 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup is set to take place in Australia and New Zealand from February, with the final to be held at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground on 29 March. The initial matches will be played in Christchurch, with various venues in both countries playing host to teams competing to take home the title of World Champions.
The World Cup will be contested by 14 teams, with the initial round robin format consisting of two pools of seven teams. Once this round robin has been completed, the top four teams from each pool will move on top the tournament's knock out stage. This is made up of quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final, with no play-off for third place.
All Full Member nations of the International Cricket Council (ICC) contest the tournament. The remaining teams are eligible through the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifying program. The first of these teams, Ireland and Afghanistan, secured qualification through the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship 2011-2013. The final two sides to qualify for the World Cup were Scotland and the United Arab Emirates.
All up, the competition consists of England, Australia, Sir Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Scotland, South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.
Enjoying the World Cup
Many of Australia's major cities host World Cup matches, with Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra all taking part. New Zealand's Auckland, Wellington, Napier, Hamilton, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin will also put on matches. This gives cricket fans and travellers plenty of opportunities to move around with the matches, depending on which team you support and how many games you want to catch.
There are plenty of hospitality packages to help you enjoy your time at the cricket. Head to the world-famous 'Gabba' ground in Brisbane for three important matches, including Australia taking on Bangladesh, and view the matches from a function room, private suite or open box. Meals, drinks and match programmes are included in many of these options, which can cater for small groups to larger corporate ones.
If you travel overseas to take in some of the action, Auckland is a great place to be. It's New Zealand's largest city and has four matches scheduled, including an Australia vs New Zealand round robin game and one of the semi-finals. Along with the chance to see this trans-Tasman rivalry in action, a trip to Auckland also gives you the chance to see untouched natural beauty existing alongside a vibrant city culture. Eden Park, a first-rate sports venue, will be the site of the matches, and this ground is in close vicinity to the central city and Auckland's appealing residential suburbs, where plenty more charm and culture can be found.
Photo courtesy of Vijay Chennupati