MELBOURNE (AP) — The Cricket World Cup, held every four years to decide the sport's one-day international championship, will be held in Australia and New Zealand in February and March 2015. Here are five things to know about the tournament that will conclude with a March 29 final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of an expected 100,000 spectators and a worldwide television audience of 1 billion:
1. THE TEAMS AND THE MAYBES: The 14-team tournament gathers the 10 test-playing countries: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe. Ireland has qualified, while three others teams will also attempt to qualify, possibly Scotland, Netherlands, Kenya or Canada based on current rankings and results.
2. ACROSS THE TIME ZONES: The 49 matches over 44 days will be played across time zones spanning six hours. With daylight savings time in effect, New Zealand's matches will be played three hours ahead of parts of the east coast of Australia. Sydney is three hours ahead of Perth in Western Australia at that time of year.
3. A BIT OF HISTORY: The first World Cup was held in England in 1975 when West Indies beat Australia in the final at Lord's. West Indies won again in 1979, beating England in the final, again at Lord's, but the Caribbean side hasn't won since. Australia leads with four titles, including three of the past four. India is the defending champion, having beaten Sri Lanka in the 2011 final.
4. A RARITY AT HOME: India's win at Mumbai marked the first time in 10 tournaments that a country clinched the title on home soil. Sri Lanka had come closest when it won the 1996 title in a tournament it co-hosted with India and Pakistan, though the final was at Lahore, Pakistan.
5. CLOSE, BUT NO SILVERWARE: It has hosted the tournament four times, but England has never won the World Cup despite making the final three times. After losing the 1979 final to West Indies, it lost to Australia in India in 1987 and the 1992 final to Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. South Africa, which co-hosted the tournament with Zimbabwe and Kenya in 2003, has never played in a tournament decider.