The 11th Cricket World Cup is set to start, with co-hosts
Australia and New Zealand both playing on the first day.
New Zealand's game against Sri Lanka gets the tournament of one-day matches
under way at 22:00 GMT on Friday.
Australia meets England in front of an expected 100,000 capacity crowd at
the Melbourne Cricket Ground at 03:30 GMT on Saturday.
India defend the title they won for the second time on home soil in 2011,
with the final in Melbourne on 29 March.
The 14 teams competing will take part in 49 matches, of 50 overs a side,
across 14 venues, followed by an estimated global audience of more than one
"The World Cup is massive because it is one of those special times when
all the teams come together," former England off-spinner Graeme Swann told
"There is a huge audience around the world, there is hype, and you feel
the excitement as a player."
The Cricket World Cup has been described as the third biggest sporting event in the world
after the Olympic Games and
football's World Cup.
Participating nations are split into two groups of seven, with the top four
in each group progressing to the quarter-finals.
Both matches on the opening day are from Group A, which also includes
Bangladesh and qualifiers Scotland and Afghanistan.
India is in Group B and open their campaign against bitter rivals Pakistan
in Adelaide on Sunday. Fellow Test-playing sides South Africa, West Indies and
Zimbabwe are joined by Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.