The March 29 final at the MCG comes 23 years after a bumper crowd saw Imran Khan's Pakistan defeat England for their maiden World Cup at Melbourne's 100,000-seat coliseum.
The semi-finals will be at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Auckland's Eden Park. The co-hosts, who also teamed up to put on the 1992 World Cup, have adjusted their international seasons to allow for the tournament, which will see 49 matches played over 44 days.
The honour of the first match, however, will go to Christchurch, which mourned the deaths of just under 200 people in the Feb. 22 earthquake and had to cancel rugby World Cup matches later in 2011 in a further blow to the city's morale.
Christchurch will host 1996 champions Sri Lanka and New Zealand on Feb. 14, and two further pool matches book-ending the four-year anniversary of the earthquake, pending clearance from a local Environment Court to allow redevelopment of an oval on the city's Hagley Park.


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