World Cup 2015: Opening ceremony held in Australia, NZ

CHRISTCHURCH: The opening ceremony of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was held jointly in the host countries New Zealand and Australia.

More than 1000 performers took in the opening ceremony of the mega event, held after every four years.

Nearly 1 billion viewers globally watched the opening ceremony. Performances from Hayley Westenra, Sol3 Mio and Shapeshifter were the highlights of the ceremony.

Cricket legends Sir Richard Hadlee, Stephen Fleming and others, besides teams participating in the event attended the ceremony.

AFP adds:

Organisers say New Zealand is buzzing with excitement ahead of the Cricket World Cup, the largest sporting event held in the South Pacific nation since rugby union´s showcase tournament in 2011.

“Interest is building really rapidly,” Sports Minister Jonathan Coleman told AFP.

“The Black Caps have had a great summer, we´ve sold more than 300,000 tickets of the 400,000 available in New Zealand. It´s all go, people are really excited about the tournament, about the visitors coming here and we´re quietly optimistic about the Black Caps chances.”

The tournament is a rare moment in the spotlight for cricket, a sport which comes a distant second to rugby union in the popularity stakes of a land obsessed with the mighty All Blacks.

The New Zealand leg of the cricket tournament has 400,000 tickets and is expected to being in more than 30,000 visitors, mostly from England and India.