For the first time in almost a quarter of a century, the cricket World Cup is back Down Under. For the traditionalists and newcomers alike, it is a long overdue return to one of the sport’s spiritual homes.
The sense of anticipation in Australia and New Zealand is building and the mood is infectious with millions of cricket fans around the world eagerly awaiting Saturday’s opening matches.
The first weekend has all the makings for a blockbuster. On Saturday, New Zealand hosts Sri Lanka in Christchurch, marking the city’s first major international sporting event since the devastating 2011 earthquake.
A few hours later, across the Tasman Sea, Australia face England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the same sprawling venue where the two great rivals staged the first ever One-Day International, in 1971.
“This could very well be the most watched game of cricket in that point of time in the history of cricket,” the tournament’s chief executive John Harnden said.
Fourteen teams have been divided into two groups for the six-week tournament, with the top four from each pool advancing to the quarter-finals.
Here is all you need to know about the World Cup 2015: