England drawn against hosts Australia for 2015 Cricket World Cup

New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and two qualifying nations will join the Ashes rivals in Pool A of the 14-team tournament

England have been drawn in the same group as Australia for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and two qualifying nations will join the Ashes rivals in Pool A of the 14-team tournament.

South Africa, defending champions India, Pakistan, the West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and a qualifier will compete in Pool B.

England and Australia will meet on the opening day of the competition at Melbourne on February 14.

The tourists' next fixture is six days later against New Zealand in Wellington, with a match against one of the qualifiers following on February 23 in the city of Christchurch - still rebuilding from an earthquake two years ago.

Sri Lanka are England's next opponents in Wellington on March 1, before a return to Australia for games against Bangladesh on March 9 at Adelaide and the other qualifier in their group on March 13 at Sydney.

Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Canberra, Christchurch, Dunedin, Napier, Nelson, Hamilton, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wellington were confirmed as host cities at today's official launch.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "The ICC Cricket World Cup is the flagship tournament of the 50-over game.

"The 2015 tournament will mark 40 years since the first World Cup in 1975 and that history of great contests and heroes helps make the tournament what it is - the most sought after prize in our increasingly global game.

"The World Cup will be returning to Australia and New Zealand after 23 years and will be staged at the back of two outstanding 50-over ICC events - the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013.

"I'm absolutely confident that the success of the ICC 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 added: "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."

Holders India will launch their defence against rivals Pakistan in Adelaide on February 15.

Ticket prices for the tournament are not due to be announced until later in the year.

PA

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