New Delhi: Cricket fans across the globe are in good cheer as world cricket's quadrennial extravaganza is just few days away. Before players and fans of the 14 participating nations switch to battle mode, they will jointly celebrate the spirit of cricket on Thursday during the much-anticipated opening ceremony of the 11th World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Read more: ICC World Cup 2015 Schedule
The two-act opening ceremony will be held at Christchurch in New Zealand and Melbourne in Australia between 2:00 and 5:00 pm IST.
The New Zealand opening ceremony will be held at Christchurch’s North Hagley Park. The event is expected to be a celebration of not just the host nation, but also of its passion and love for cricket.
Read more: ICC World Cup 2015 Full Coverage
Three of New Zealand's favourite cricketing sons Sir Richard Hadlee, Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum will make appearance during the ceremony.
The free event, scheduled for a 6:30 pm local time, will feature a giant game of backyard cricket comprising local cricket teams, entertainers, and New Zealand's cricket heroes.
The main event will commence at 9:00 pm local time with a cultural welcome produced in association with Ngai Tahu, one of the original settlers. A live stage show will follow that will feature a special video appearance by all-time greats from New Zealand sport as part of a celebration showcasing an unrivalled history.
Then, it will be time for ceremonial speeches and official opening of the tournament. This will be followed by a live musical show featuring Shapeshifter, a live drum and bass act, Sol3 Mio, Hayley Westenra and Ginny Blackmore.
The momentous event will be capped off with extravagant fireworks displays.
The Melbourne opening ceremony will be held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Linlithgow Ave. The celebration will involve World Cup players and legends, cultural and music performances, and a stunning fireworks display.
Jessica Hilda Mauboy an Australian R&B and pop singer, Tina Arena, an Australian singer-songwriter, Nathaniel and Daryl Braithwaite, along with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with musical director, Chong Lim will treat the crowd with their musical performances.