The home-team hoodoo in World Cups has been broken and that’s good news for Australia in 2015.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland says India’s win in the Mumbai final in 2011 means the Aussies have nothing to fear in terms of home-town pressure in 2015.
It was a different story when Australia last hosted the game’s showpiece event in 1992, when Allan Border’s side missed the semi-finals.
New Zealand and tournament favourites Australia will co-host the 14-team event which starts on February 14 next year and ends on March 29, with the final to be staged at the MCG.
“Only one team has ever won at home and that was the last World Cup where India were able to do it,” Sutherland said on Friday at a ticket-launch promotion.
“It has been a bit of a hoodoo. Hopefully that hoodoo has been broken.
“We’ve won more World Cups than any other country.
“It’s exactly one year until the first game.
“It kicks off with an Australia-England game at the MCG. You can’t really get bigger than that.”
Sutherland brushed off concerns about the 50-over format losing relevance amid competition from T20 cricket, which has been a big success with crowds and TV viewers this summer.
While Australia have crushed England in the Ashes and have started their Test tour of South Africa in promising fashion, coach Darren Lehmann’s men will switch their focus next month to the World T20 in Bangladesh.
“One-day cricket remains very strong,” Sutherland said.
“It just gets better and better to watch.
“For cricketers this is the biggest event. This is the biggest prize you can win.”
The event, described by Australia’s 1999 World Cup winner Damien Fleming as the Olympics of cricket, will face competition in March 2015 from the NRL and AFL.
“It is a time when Australian sports fans start thinking about their winter codes,” Sutherland said.
“I don’t see it as any real risk and I don’t even see it as a competition issue.”
Sutherland denies an early exit by Australia will hurt the success of the competition.
“This is a global event,” he said.
“The eyes of the world will be on Australia and New Zealand in February and March next year, irrespective of the performance of the Australian team.
“I’m confident everyone in Australia will get behind the event.”
More than 87,000 fans attended the 1992 final at the MCG when skipper Imran Khan led Pakistan to victory over England.