The 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup will be the 11th ICC Cricket World Cup, and will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand and is scheduled to take place from 14 February to 29 March 2015. 49 matches will be played in 14 venues with Australia staging 26 games at grounds in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney while New Zealand hosting 23 games in seven cities, including Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson and Wellington.The final match of the tournament will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It will be one of the world’s largest international sports tournaments with 14 competing teams and more than 400 accredited players and officials, taking part in it.
The hosting rights were awarded at the same time as those of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, which Australia and New Zealand had originally bid to host, and the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, which was awarded to England.The 2011 tournament was awarded to the four Asian Test cricket playing countries, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, in a 10 to 3 vote (Pakistan later lost the co-hosting rights due to a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team). The International Cricket Council were sufficiently impressed with the trans-Tasman bid that it was decided to award the next World Cup to Australia and New Zealand. This is the second time that the tournament will be held in Australia and New Zealand, with the first being the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
India are the defending champions, having won the tournament in 2011 when it was held in the Indian Subcontinent, defeating Sri Lanka in the finals.
The tournament will feature 14 teams, the same number as the 2011 World Cup, giving associate and affiliate member nations a chance to participate. The format is the same as the 2011 edition: 14 teams will take part in the initial stages, divided into two groups of seven; the seven teams play each other once before the top four teams from each group qualify for the quarter-finals. The format ensures that each team gets to play a minimum of six matches even if they exit in the group stage.
The World Cup has grown as a media event with each tournament. The International Cricket Council has sold the rights for broadcasting of the 2015 Cricket World Cup for US$2 billion to ESPN Star Sports and Star Cricket. According to Strong, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) wants to make the tournament the most fan-friendly event of its kind and take cricket to a wide range of communities throughout Australia and New Zealand.