2015 Cricket World Cup countdown is on

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 13:23 13/02/2014
Fairfax NZ

A number of cricket balls are being uncovered across the country, to mark one year until the start of the Cricket World Cup.

Martin Crowe's 1992 World Cup exploits

Greatest Cricket World Cup moments

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Cricket World Cup
COUNTDOWN ON: Auckland Mayor Len Brown has unveiled Auckland's countdown clock for next year's Cricket World Cup.
Cricket World Cup launch
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ Zoom
FORMER STARS: Martin Snedden, left, Sir Richard Hadlee, Martin Crowe, Sunil Gavaskar, Dean Jones and Gavin Larsen.

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AUCKLAND

As the road to next year's Cricket World Cup begins, Martin Crowe's 1992 exploits are at the forefront of one mind in particular.

Auckland mayor Len Brown today recalled Crowe's brilliant batting as his favourite Cricket World Cup moment but wished for more Kiwi success at next year's tournament.

The mayor then unveiled Auckland's countdown clock at Queen's Wharf to celebrate the tournament beginning a year tomorrow.

Black Caps and White Ferns cricketers were part of the 500-strong crowd on Auckland's waterfront but it was the Cricket World Cup ambassadors who posed for the most photos.

Martin Crowe, Dean Jones, Sir Richard Hadlee and Sunil Gavaskar were all pulled this way and that for pictures with fans young and old.

The World Cup trophy was also a star of the show though no New Zealand captain is yet to hold the trophy aloft. Yet.

NELSON

The one year countdown to Cricket World Cup in Nelson was marked  - in a style true to the laid-back summer holiday destination city - with a game of backyard cricket. 

Nelson celebrated its status as one of the 14 host cities, unveiling a giant cricket ball countdown clock while local school children and a few big kids rolled the arm over in Nelson's at 1903 Square.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese and representatives from Nelson Cricket were among the first to leave a handprint on the clock.

A competition was also launched to create a mural on the ball with aspiring artists asked to create a piece reflecting what they believe makes Nelson a special place to live.

Nelson's Saxton Oval made its Black Caps debut and became the 10th ground to host a men's ODI, when the West Indies toured there last month. Combining that with a region famous for its golden beaches and beach cricket is sure to be a common motif in entries.

Saxton Oval will host three games at Cricket World Cup, with the West Indies returning to play Ireland. Zimbabwe play recent qualifiers United Arab Emirates and the Black Caps bane of Bangladesh take on ICC Cricket World Cup qualifying champions Scotland.

All children's tickets for the pools' stage are $5. Prices for adults start from just $20.

WELLINGTON

Wellington will be turned into a giant Village Green to welcome the English and their fans for next year's Cricket World Cup.

At the unveiling of the count-down clock in the capital's Midland Park, mayor Celia Wade-Brown said Wellington was aiming to be a home away from home for the English who play two of their six pool games at Westpac Stadium - one of which is against New Zealand.

Sri Lanka, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates all play in Wellington during the 14-team tournament which begins on February 14 next year.

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Wellington also hosts a quarterfinal an should the Black Caps make the knock-out portion of the event, they will feature in the capital quarter.

Hundreds of Wellingtonians flocked to Midland Park where the World Cup was on show next to a giant cricket ball count-down clock which will be moved around the city.

Photos with the trophy proved just as popular as pictures with World Cup winners Dean Jones and Sunil Gavaskar.

The pair, alongside fellow World Cup ambassadors Sir Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe are travelling the country today promoting the event and the fact public tickets go on sale tomorrow at 2pm.

- Fairfax Media

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