Five Things You Need to Know About the 2015 Cricket World Cup Draw
The draw for the 2015 Cricket World Cup has taken place two years ahead of the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
It all begins on February 14, and continues through to the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 29.
Here are the key details you need to know about the format, who your team is playing, where the big matches will be and more.
2015 Cricket World Cup Features 14 Teams, 49 Matches over 44 Days
The 2015 World Cup will see 49 matches between 14 teams in 44 days.
The tournament will be made up of 10 Test-playing teams and four qualifiers. They are split into two groups of seven, playing each other once before the top four from each group advance to the knock-out stages.
- Sri Lanka
- New Zealand
- Qualifier 2
- Qualifier 3
- South Africa
- West Indies
- Qualifier 4
England Play Australia on Day One of the 2015 Cricket World Cup
The opening match of the 2015 World Cup is New Zealand v Sri Lanka in Christchurch, but many fans will be watching the second game on the same day.
On February 14 Ashes rivals England and Australia will meet at the MCG in a day/night game, which is likely to draw a capacity crowd and get the tournament off to a flying start.
With a total capacity of around 100,000, a full-to-bursting MCG will provide a real spectacle.
India V Pakistan Will Also Happen at the 2015 Cricket World Cup
There's no bigger draw in cricket than India and Pakistan clashing - and the 2015 World Cup will deliver that match. Expect a full house and a TV audience of billions when the pair meet on February 15 in Adelaide.
Again early in the tournament, some on Twitter are hinting it's almost too perfect:
I see that India and Pakistan are in the same group for #CWC15. An amazing coincidence that will please the TV companies.— The Cricket Geek (@TheCricketGeek) July 30, 2013
Ireland the First Qualifier Through to the 2015 Cricket World Cup
Four teams playing in Australia and New Zealand will have to qualify for the tournament. They will do that by claiming one of the top four spots in the ongoing ICC World Cricket League.
Ireland have already done enough to qualify and hence their name and fixtures were included in the draw.
As at July 30, qualifiers 2, 3 and 4 remain open, but the Netherlands, Scotland and Afghanistan are best-placed to win these spots.
The 2015 World Cup Is Predicted to Be Wide-Open
Although there is some time to go before the start of the event, the 2015 World Cup is more wide open than any tournament in recent memory.
Perhaps the strongest ODI team at the moment, India, will be playing away from the subcontinent, which is where they are most effective.
Australia and New Zealand will get a boost by being co-hosts.
England and South Africa are in familiar conditions that will feel a little more like home, while West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have a lot of dangerous players who can shine on any surface.