Ashes rivals England & Australia in same ICC World Cup 2015 group

 

England will play co-hosts Australia on the opening day of the 2015 World Cup.

Pool A is completed by the other co-hosts New Zealand, 1996 winners Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and two associate nations from qualifying tournaments.

Holders India, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and a qualifier are in Pool B.

The tournament starts on 14 February with the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground - where Pakistan beat England in the 1992 final - on 29 March.

World Cup winners

1975 - West Indies

1979 - West Indies

1983 - India

1987 - Australia

1992 - Pakistan

1996 - Sri Lanka

1999 - Australia

2003 - Australia

2007 - Australia

2011 - India

After their opening match against Australia, which will also take place at the MCG, England head to Wellington to face New Zealand six days later.

Alastair Cook's men stay in New Zealand for two more matches, against a qualifier in Christchurch - still rebuilding from an earthquake two years ago - and against Sri Lanka back in Wellington on 1 March.

They then head back to Australia for games against Bangladesh, on 9 March in Adelaide, and the other qualifier in their group, on 13 March in Sydney.

The tournament will follow the same format as the 2011 event with the top four teams from each pool progressing to the quarter-finals.

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson said the World Cup "is the flagship tournament of the 50-over game".

He added: "I'm absolutely confident that the success of the Cricket World Cup 2015 will further strengthen the status of 50-over cricket as a successful and viable format alongside Tests and Twenty20 internationals."

Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said: "This is one of the biggest events in world sport.

"It will attract cricket fans from around the globe and also promote Australia and our close friend New Zealand internationally - especially in India and other parts of South Asia."

Defending champions India, who beat Sri Lanka in the 2011 final, will begin their campaign against Pakistan in Adelaide on 15 February.