Sydney has lost the rights to host the 2015 World Cup final with the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) being announced as the venue for the tournament showpiece.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced MCG as the host of the 2015 Cricket World Cup final. Melbourne will host the day-night final of the 2015 on 29 March.
Along with the MCG, other Australian venues for the 2015 tournament will be the Sydney Cricket Ground, Brisbane’s Gabba, the WACA in Perth, Adelaide Oval, Manuka Oval in Canberra and Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
The tournament, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, features 49 matches over 44 days with 26 matches in Australia. It opens up with a clash between New Zealand and Sri Lanka on 14 February in Christchruch. The joint-hosts take each other on at Eden Park in Auckland on 28 March.
The semi-finals for the tournament, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand will be played at Auckland’s Eden Park on 24 March and at the SCG on 26 March.
Australia is included in Pool A with co-hosts New Zealand along with England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and two qualifiers. Pool B contains South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and a qualifier.
The quarter-finals will be staged at the SCG, MCG, Adelaide Oval and in Wellington, while the semi-finals will be played in Auckland and the SCG.
“The 2015 tournament will mark 40 years since the first World Cup in 1975 and the history of great contests and heroes helps make the tournament what it is — the most sought-after prize in our increasingly global game,” said ICC chief executive David Richardson.
“The ICC Cricket World Cup 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,” added Richardson.
He further stated that he is confident that the success of the Cricket World Cup 2015 will further strengthen the status of 50- over cricket as a successful format alongside Tests and Twenty -20 internationals which are catching the spotlight.
John Harnden, Chief Executive of the Cricket World cup 2015, said, “Rather than one pool of teams playing solely in Australia and the other in New Zealand, each team will play their pool matches in both host nations.”
WACA president Dennis Lillee said, “T-20 series is fantastic but I think one-day cricket still is a great event. It is phenomenal for the Australian people to have it in Australia.”
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said, “When it comes to 2015, I don’t think you will be able to keep anyone away. Australia is proud to host what will be a “great series” in 2015 along with New Zealand”.
Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide said his organization was delighted to learn the final would be staged in Melbourne. “It’s an exciting announcement for Victorian cricket and we look forward to the world’s best cricketers featuring prominently at the MCG,” he said.
Just like in the 2011 World Cup, the 2015 tournament features 14 teams are split into two groups of seven, with each team playing its group opponents once before the top four progresses to the quarter-finals.
Both Australia and New Zealand were joint-hosts for the 1992 World Cup when the MCG hosted the final which saw Pakistan defeat England.
The 14 host cities are Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Canberra, Christchurch, Dunedin, Napier, Nelson, Hamilton, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wellington. The top four teams in each pool will contest the quarter-finals.