Less than six months remain until the 2015 Cricket World Cup begins! From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the top cricketing nations from around the globe will descend upon Christchurch for the opening ceremony on Saturday the 14th of February, 2015.
Not only does Christchurch have the distinct honour of hosting the opening ceremony, but straight afterwards the first will be bowled at the newly refurbished Hagley Park between our very own Blackcaps and cricketing heavyweights Sri Lanka in the opening game.
The 11th edition of the Cricket World Cup will involve 14 teams, and culminate in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the 29th of March. The format will see all 14 teams get to play a minimum of six matches, even if they exit in the group stage, ensuring that supporters that have travelled from home or abroad will get a fantastic chance to follow and support their sides.
If you haven't managed to snap up tickets to the opening match in Christchurch between New Zealand and 2011's beaten finalists Sri Lanka, then don't fret. Christchurch will also play host to a match between Pakistan and the West Indies, as well as a grudge match between England and neighbours Scotland.
Thinking about heading over to our fine shores to sample what New Zealand's South Island has to offer?
You may like to know that Christchurch - New Zealand's second largest city, known also as the Garden City for it's stunning and diverse gardens, has a huge range of activities to keep you entertained. There is nowhere else in the world, within two hours of an international airport, you can ski at a world-class alpine resort (although there may be limited snow in February...), play golf, bungy jump, raft, mountain bike, hot-air balloon, wind surf, whale watch and visit internationally-acclaimed wineries and gardens. And if that hasn't whet your appetite you can find out more about Christchurch here.
90 minutes down the road, you'll find Hanmer Springs - a quaint alpine village. With award winning thermal hot pools, you can escape the city and unwind amongst forest clad mountains in the alpine air. You'll also find a selection of boutique shops to explore and a diverse range of cafes and restaurants.
So why wouldn't you want to come visit, you'll be bowled over! ...Sorry, I had to get a cricketing pun in there somewhere.
Cricket World Cup 2015 - Christchurch matches:
New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
Match 1, Pool A, Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
14 February 2015, Day game
Pakistan vs West Indies
Match 10, Pool B, Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
21 February 2015, Day game
England vs Scotland
Match 14, Pool A, Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
23 February 2015, Day Game
Visit ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 for further details about the tournament including the full schedule, location information, and how to purchase tickets.