Cricket fans from Auckland to Dunedin will get the chance to enjoy 23 matches in their home city during ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
The match schedule announced today has revealed New Zealand will host nearly half of the tournament’s 49 matches including a quarterfinal and a much sought-after semifinal.Full details of the draw at cricketworldcup.com.
International cricket will return to Christchurch for the first time since the devastating earthquake in 2011, pending the Environment Court decision on Hagley Oval. The city will host three matches including the tournament’s opening game where the BLACKCAPS will face Sri Lanka on 14 February.
Many Kiwis have fond memories of the last time the cup was hosted here in 1992.
Saxton Oval in Nelson has also been included as a venue and will host three matches. Seven New Zealand cities – Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington, Napier, Hamilton and Auckland will host pool matches, with the quarterfinal at Wellington Regional Stadium and the semifinal at Auckland’s Eden Park.
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White says it’s fantastic news that nearly half the matches will be on our shores.
“To have all the BLACKCAPS matches here in New Zealand is brilliant for our fans especially the two big pool games against England and our joint hosts Australia."
“And to have secured both a quarterfinal and a semifinal is the icing on the cake for Kiwi fans.”
BLACKCAPS captain Brendon McCullum is thrilled to be playing all the team’s pool matches in front of home fans and against favourable opponents.
“We’ve had recent success over both Sri Lanka and England in one dayers so to face them and a qualifying team in the first three matches is certainly an encouraging draw for us.”
“It’ll also be a special occasion to open the tournament in Christchurch, where I now live, after everything the city has gone through.”
White added that co-hosting the tournament will have significant long-term benefits for the sport.
“After the success of hosting the 1992 World Cup, we clearly saw the increased number of kids playing cricket. Having the world’s best playing in front of our next generation of cricketers certainly helps to grow the game.”
White says the other legacy benefits of the co-hosting include improvements to our grounds and facilities, as well as the upskilling of the game’s administrators through the opportunity to work on a world event.
The 2014-15 season will be a big summer for Kiwi cricket fans with Sri Lanka touring in December and January, followed by the ICC CWC 2015 in February and March.
A qualifying tournament for the ICC CWC 2015 is being held in New Zealand in January and February 2014, where the last two of the 14 teams will qualify.