The tournament - one of the biggest international sporting events in the world - returns to Australia and New Zealand in February and March for the first time in 23 years.

According to an ICC release, the McGrath Foundation joins the ICC's two global charity partners - THINK WISE, a joint initiative between ICC, UNAIDS and UNICEF which promotes awareness and understanding about HIV; and Room to Read, which promotes literacy - as well as the local charity partner in New Zealand, the Cancer Society.

The McGrath Foundation was started 10 years ago out of the much publicised experience that Jane McGrath and three-time World Cup winner and Aussie pacer Glenn McGrath, had with breast cancer.  

Its mission is to provide every family in Australia fighting breast cancer with access to a breast care nurse regardless of where they live or their financial circumstances.  

It also runs education programmes to make families and young women in particular breast aware. McGrath - the highest wicket-taker in World Cup history with 71 wickets - joined World Cup organisers, one of the Foundation's Victorian based breast care nurses and McGrath Foundation supporters from the Port Melbourne Cricket Club to launch the partnership Tuesday.

"Cricket is much more than what happens on the field," said McGrath.

"It brings people together and is a real force for good in the community. So I am delighted that the Foundation has this opportunity to team up with the ICC Cricket World Cup next year because it is the biggest tournament in cricket and it's happening right here in our backyard,” he said.

“I didn't get a chance to play in a World Cup at home but now I'll have a chance to participate in another way and I hope lots of other people will join me to enjoy the cricket and spread awareness about breast cancer,” he added.

The World Cup will see the top 14 cricketing nations play 49 matches over 44 days in February and March next year.  There are 14 host cities in total across Australia and New Zealand.

More than a million people are expected to attend matches and more than a billion are expected to watch the global broadcast.

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