WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Friday August 29, 2014, CMC – International Cricket Council chief executive, David Richardson, believes Australia and New Zealand are on track to deliver a first class Cricket World Cup next year.
The global tournament, which sees teams compete for world cricket’s premier one-day title, bowls off across 14 cities in Australia and New Zealand from February 14th to March 29th.
Richardson attended a round of meetings in Wellington and Melbourne earlier this week, and said afterward that he was confident the World Cup would be a “memorable event”.
“There is tremendous enthusiasm and anticipation amongst the LOC (Local Organising Committee) staff and no stone is being left unturned to ensure the teams, officials, sponsors and media are warmly received and enjoy a great experience during the ICC’s flagship ODI event,” Richardson said.
“For fans in Australia and New Zealand, this is once in a generation opportunity for them to see a galaxy of modern day stars battle out for the ultimate prize in cricket.”
He added: “The two countries possess outstanding playing facilities. Whilst there is some work still to be done at a few venues to enhance the existing infrastructure and facilities, all these projects have the support and backing of the local states and councils and we are confident that the work will be completed before the start of their domestic international cricket seasons.”
The Cricket World Cup will feature 49 matches played across the Australian cities of Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and the New Zealand cities of Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson and Wellington.
West Indies have been installed in a tough Pool B alongside title-holders India, South Africa, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, along with qualifiers Ireland and United Arab Emirates.
Pool B comprises Australia, England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and New Zealand, with qualifiers Afghanistan and Scotland completing the group.
The top four teams from each group qualify for the quarter-finals.
Richardson said though plans were in place and finalised, both countries now had the responsibility of executing with efficiency.
“With 169 days remaining before the first ball is bowled and the final rounds of meetings and inspections having taken place, the focus is now on delivery,” he pointed out.
“We understand how important World Cups are to the players and the fans and both the ICC and the LOC remain committed to ensuring the event lives up to its very high standards and expectations.”
West Indies face Ireland in their opening match at Saxon Oval in Nelson on February 15th.