The countdown has begun. It is now less than 100 days until the start of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Kicking off on February 14th and running until March 29th, 14 teams will battle it out  to see who is the best in the business in the cricket world.

Will India be able to retain their title? Will Australia or New Zealand be able to triumph on home soil? Will England be able to break their duck and claim their first ever World Cup? These are just some of the questions on the lips of cricket fans around the globe.

England have predominantly been the nearly men of the competition finishing runners up on three occasions, more than any other side. In 1979 it was against the West Indies, in 1987 it was Australia and five years later it was Pakistan. Each year, England find that they simply do not have enough to make it over the line.

However, there have been times when a disappointing World Cup campaign has spurred England on to bigger. The 2003 World Cup in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya saw England fail to get out of the group but this only galvanised the group. Spearheaded by the likes of Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan, England captured the 2005 Ashes against World Cup champions Australia.

The biggest prize in cricket returns Down Under for the first time since 1992. Spread evenly over both Australia and New Zealand matches will be played in the likes of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin among others.

Alongside with the usual suspects of South Africa, India, England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the host nations, the competition will have some new faces. Afghanistan will be competing in their first World Cup after finishing second in the 2011-13 ICC World Cricket League Championship.

Ireland will also be in attendance after topping the qualification table while Scotland and United Arab Emirates, taking part in just their second World Cup, will be competing after progressing through a World Cup play-off.

England have been drawn in Pool A alongside both host nations, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland. Alastair Cook's men will be the focus of the first game of the tournament when they face the Aussies at Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 14th.

Also kicking off on Valentine's Day is New Zealand who will take on Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

After touring the two nations, the World Cup will return to Melbourne on March 29th for the final, bringing an end to weeks of high class cricket.



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