Melbourne: Melbourne was Friday named as the host of Australian opening ceremony for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2015.

Two opening ceremonies for cricket’s marquee event will be held Feb 12, with co-hosts New Zealand to stage their opener on the same evening in Christchurch. The Melbourne celebration at Sidney Myer Music Bowl will involve World Cup players and legends, cultural and music performances, a spectacular fireworks display and a yet-to-be-revealed “special moment”.

Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events John Eren said Melbourne would now be the scene of the opening event, the first match on Australian soil when Australia play England Feb 14, and the final at the Melbournbe Cricket Ground (MCG) March 29.

“We are delighted that Melburnians and visitors from all over the world will have a chance to attend this once-in-a-generation event at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl,” Eren was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia (CA) website. John Harnden, World Cup 2015 chief executive, said the event would get the tournament off to a “great start”.

The opening ceremony will be free to attend and tickets will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Each applicant can request up to four tickets and further details of the ceremony will be revealed closer to the event.

Christchurch’s opening event will feature some of New Zealand’s best known performers, cricket legends including Richard Hadlee and Stephen Fleming and a special segment to recognise the rebuilding of the city following the disastrous earthquakes.

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