ICC World Cup 2015 July 29, 2013

World Cup final returns to Melbourne


Twenty-three years after Imran Khan led Pakistan to victory over England, Melbourne will again host the World Cup final in 2015, while Sydney and Auckland will host semi-finals just as they did in 1992.

A wide range of alternative options for the major matches of a tournament co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand had been discussed in the lead-up to the formal announcement of the official fixtures in Melbourne on Tuesday, including the prospect of a semi or final at Sydney's Olympic Stadium and even Adelaide Oval.

But the organisers ultimately retained the same formula as 1992, handing matches to the SCG and Eden Park before the event's show-piece takes place on March 29 at the MCG, where a crowd of more than 87,000 had watched Imran's team triumph.

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.

Having been drawn together in Pool A, Australia will travel to Auckland to meet New Zealand on February 28. Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Wellington will each host a quarter-final.

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."

Several tournament venues have undergone major redevelopments with 2015 in mind, not least the SCG with a projected capacity of 48,000, and Adelaide Oval's expansion to accommodate 50,000. Eden Park has also undergone a considerable facelift to also be capable of hosting 50,000 spectators.

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

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ESPN on January 7, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    every team would enjoy playing in aus and nz by their excellent climate conditions

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    cric_follower - Ireland wouldn't put a challenge to the top 8?, well we recently had Pakistan over here in Ireland and Pakistan were lucky we tied the first ODI, while they scraped by in the second ODI.

    I'm not saying Ireland will win the WC, although I do think your low opinion of Ireland is staggering. I think it shows that the vast majority of people here support Ireland being there, while only you and one other seem against it.

    T20 is for developing the smaller sides?, give it a break. Everyone deserves a chance to play in the WC. We had a qualification process and we qualified and we deserve to be there.

    You say let the WC be competed among the sides who care about cricket. I'd like you to come to Ireland and tell us we don't care about cricket. You tell the Irish players they don't care about cricket, because one thing is for sure, these lads are as passionate as everyone else there if not more.

    It's a pity you feel we don't care, or aren't capable. We deserve to be there!

  • Android on July 31, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    India cant make the Semis or its difficult to make quater final because their most of the batsman cant play in Ausies and NZ bounce tracks... We all knows Indian legend batsman sachin dravid etc always struggle specufically in ODIs.. When their legends strygle then what about dawan rohit kohli raina etc....??? India dont have world class seamers like SA Pak and Eng who can get most from Ausies cobdition. And also India dnt have world class spinners which i think only two in cricket Ajmal and Narine... On these grounds how can anyone pick India as fav..??? One positive point for india is dhoni as a captain... SA SL Pak and Australia have better chances in 2015 WC....

  • Himanshu on July 31, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    I think England,Australia,New Zealand and South Africa have the advantages over others.All Sub-Continent teams will have to fight hard. It will be good for India if they don't pick Slow Pacers Like Vinay Kumar and co. in the team. There will not be any flat track in WC2015. Adelaide Oval has the nearest possible characteristic of a Sub-Continent Pitch. No group is tougher from the other as of now.It should be NZ,AUS,SL,ENG from Group A & SA,Pak,Ind & WI from group B. Pakistan will have to strengthen their batting in order to experience the Deja-Vu. Sri Lanka will have to fight hard seriously as their Senior trio is in 35+ age-group, they need to put youngsters in front.Also,they will have to find a good bowling partner for Malinga to make a consistent pair. Eng is doing good. For SA, it is the right time to introduce seamers like Abbott,Philander in the shorter format. But the hardest job is for Aus as they have to pick a winning combination.

  • Manesh on July 31, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Realistically SL donot have any chance in this WC. So as Pakistan unless they found a young stable batsman. The only way SL can win the match is they can pray for an Indian defeat in the knockout matches by some other teams. England have the potential to reach finals or at least semis. So as Australia. I know they are not in good form, but at home they are unbeatable. SA will chock again and NZ will reach up to semis maximum. But the cup winner will be India...

  • Manesh on July 31, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    @ Herath-UK . It is a shame that you donot know about Pakistan fast bowling attack which will be more dangerous in Aus/NZ. Also, WI bowling is far better than BD. So, Group B is tough.

  • Sourabh on July 31, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    My Dream situation: QF1- India v Australia QF2- S Africa v S Lanka QF3- W Indies v N. Z'and QF4- Ireland v England SF1- India v West Indies SF2- S. Africa v Ireland Final: India v S. Africa Either team wins, I am happy!!

  • Siddharth on July 31, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    I want India SA, Irish,,Windies...Aus..Slanka..Eng...Kiwis..

    Semis btw- Ind vs Eng, Saf Vs Kiwi

    Final India VS Saf

    Winner India..

  • Kumar on July 31, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Most of the WC pitches will be drop-in pitches that suit flat-track bullies. Go India!