Sydney, Nov 6: With just 100 days to go until the start of the ICC World Cup 2015, legendary Australian World Cup winning captains Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting have joined together to support the tournament and current Australian skipper Michael Clarke.
Border, Waugh and Ponting won four World Cups as captains - one each to Border and Waugh and two to Ricky Ponting - making Australia the most successful nation in ICC Cricket World Cup history. Michael Clarke is hoping to add his name and another trophy to that list.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is being hosted in 14 cities across Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29 next year. Half a million tickets have been sold already, more than three months before the start of the tournament, ICC said today.
More tickets were released at noon (AEST) today to matches for which there have been no tickets or only limited categories available. To get the seats you want, get in quick at www.cricketworldcup.com
A national trophy tour begins today which will see the World Cup visit all the Australia host cities - Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney - as well as regional centres like Geraldton, Broken Hill, Port Augusta and Launceston in a specially commissioned open topped double decker bus.
Cricket fans around Australia will be able to have their photo taken with the trophy, join in some fun cricket activities and at some locations meet former World Cup winners. A similar tour in New Zealand will see the trophy travel from the tip of the North Island to the bottom on the South Island in a specially customised semi-trailer packed with World Cup information and activities.
Allan Border, who captained the first Australian World Cup winning team in 1987, said he expected next year's event would be massive. "This is the first chance we've had to play the World Cup at home in 23 years so I urge everyone to down to the grounds and support your team."
Steve Waugh said winning the World Cup as captain in 1999 was one of the biggest moments of his career.
"Every player in the world wants to play in and win a World Cup," Waugh said. "England, South Africa and New Zealand have never managed it and they will be desperate to change that next year.
"50 over cricket has never been more competitive than it is right now. The support of the home crowd could be the X factor for Australia."
Ricky Ponting is one of only three players to win three World Cups - two as captain in 2003 and 2007. He believes the selectors will have a tough job choosing their final squad.
"There's a lot of competition to make the team and that's a great problem for selectors to have. Fans can look forward to an electric atmosphere at the games and I hope everyone comes along."
The three former captains were joined on the shores of Sydney Harbour by current captain Michael Clarke. Clarke, who is already a World Cup winner as a player, now faces his sternest 50 over challenge as captain.
"There is definitely more expectation because we are playing at home and we haven't won the World Cup here," Clarke said. "But there is also the advantage of being among our own fans. The support the Australian public showed us last summer was quite extraordinary and definitely played a part in our success.
"As players we are really looking forward to the buzz that this tournament will create, not just from our own fans but from the fans supporting the other teams.
"If you haven't got your tickets yet go out and get them because I think this could be the best World Cup ever," he said.