Melbourne, March 28: ICC World Cup 2015 has been a record-breaking tournament and has cemented the event's position as one of the most popular sporting spectacles in the world, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said today.
With two double-centuries, seven scores in excess of 150 and 38 centuries, there has been no shortage of batting prowess on display in Australia and New Zealand over the past seven weeks. And 28 four-wicket hauls, including two hat-tricks, mean the bowlers have played their part, too, the sport's world governing body said in a media release on Saturday, on the eve of the final at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Co-hosts Australia and New Zealand will play the final tomorrow (March 29).
"The pick of the group stage matches from an attendance point of view was the India versus South Africa game on 22 February at the Melbourne Cricket Ground at which there were more than 86,000 people cheering on their respective teams, a phenomenal result given that neither of the host teams were involved.
"The good news doesn't stop there as people have been tuning in to ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in greater numbers than ever before. Broadcast by 44 licensees, in seven languages across 220 territories, the India versus Pakistan group match drew an approximate television audience of more than 288 million in India alone, while the Australia versus England match was watched by 2.1 million people in Australia," ICC said.
"There are 10 radio licensees broadcasting the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches live into 80 territories and for those following the tournament on new media, the website has attracted 26.25 million unique visitors accumulating an incredible 227 million page views, which is a significant increase on any previous ICC event. And the tournament app has so far been downloaded 3.6 million times and has been the number-one sports app in no fewer than 48 countries," it added.
'Most followed and best attended'
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: "These numbers provide a tangible measure of the success of the event - this Cricket World Cup has been the most followed and best attended cricket event in history. All over the world, hundreds of millions of fans have been enthralled by the quality of cricket on show, the exploits of the world's top players and the colour of the festival across both host nations.
"We are delighted with how the tournament has gone so far. It is a tribute to the hard work of many people and, of course, the way the teams have delivered on the field of play. It has been great to see so many traveling fans from all competing teams but the way the people of Australia and New Zealand have embraced the event so wholeheartedly has been extremely gratifying and enhances their countries' reputations as great sporting nations.
"With nearly 1,400 members of the media attending the event, it's fair to say that, all in all, the cricket-loving public around the world have been very well served. And we now look forward to a fitting finale on 29 March - hopefully another special occasion for the game."