As it happened: Cricket World Cup opening ceremony

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Recap our live updates from the Cricket World Cup opening ceremony from Christchurch's North Hagley Oval.

10.15pm: That's a wrap from Hagley Oval

Thanks for joining us. We'll be back on Saturday for the opening match of the tournament between the Black Caps and Sri Lanka. Can't wait! 

The stars have come out for #cwc15 Opening in Christchurch! Here's @AllBlacks legend Richie McCaw w/ the CWC Trophy! pic.twitter.com/00Nw7kNFNv

— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) February 12, 2015

Shape Shifter closing things out! It's been a huge night #cwc15 ^RI https://t.co/ieWTYYrRFh

— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 12, 2015

10pm: Cricket World Cup 2015 is officially open in New Zealand

Things are still going in the Australian ceremony, but they are wrapping up on this side of the Tasman. 

9.53pm: Here's a short clip from the ceremony

9.46pm: Man in a suit

The ICC head Dave Richardson has his turn in the spotlight. Thankfully he keeps it quick. John Key is out to officially open the tournament

"Doesn't it make you proud to be a New Zealander?" 

'It's a way of showing Christchurch is back in business." 

9.36pm: Time for some action

Former captain Stephen Fleming hits the stage and is looking for some mates to join him. Out comes Canterbury's favourite son, Richie McCaw. As well as Beatrice Faumuina and Maria Tutaia. For some reason there is a clip of Lasith Malinga holding a fish. He then comes out with team-mate Lahiru Thirimanne, and Mr McCullum once again. John Key takes a pretty good catch outside the Beehive. 

9.28pm: Hayley sings

Local girl Hayley Westenra is singing, with pictures of Christchurch in the background. 

9.20pm: McCullum talks Christchurch and who could win the tournament 

"Having the opening game here in Christchurch is fantastic."

"I think it's a really wide open World Cup. The nature of the wickets we're going to see both here and in Australia, they are pure wickets, and that brings in match-winners. If you look at the top eight to 10 teams, they all possess match winners. 

9.10pm: Captains speak

AB de Villiers (South Africa), Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka), Elton Chigumbura (Zimbabwe) and B-Mac speak. South Africa are one of the favourites, but de Villiers is playing it pretty cool. 

@ABdeVilliers17 along with NZ, Zim & SL captains on stage at the #cwc15 opening ceremony. pic.twitter.com/4erhwx2qaM

— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 12, 2015

9.02pm: "It's a great tribute to Christchurch"

Sir Richard Hadlee, who played in three World Cups for New Zealand, speaks of his pride in Christchurch and how it's coped in recent years.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be part of the whole event over the next six weeks."

8.55pm: Old timers speak

Some names from New Zealand cricket teams past speak - Rod Latham, Geoff Allott, Gavin Larsen, Lee Germon and Debbie Hockley.

What an amazing turn out from the cantabs, for the opening ceremony. pic.twitter.com/9t2gSZ9LA7

— Grant Elliott (@grantelliottnz) February 12, 2015

 

8.45pm: World Cup warm-up matches

For those interested in action on the pitch, the West Indies beat Scotland by just three runs today, while Ireland upset Bangladesh by four wickets. 

8.40pm: Here's what Brendon McCullum had to say earlier today.

 8.35pm: I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of Richie tonight.

Just at the opening ceremony for the cricket World Cup and bumped into this guy who asked for a photo. Haha #Richie pic.twitter.com/UwMvS0PXTW

— Ross Taylor (@RossLTaylor) February 12, 2015

8.32pm: We're underway

The presenters get us underway at Hagley Park. The first entertainment is some Sri Lankan dance. They look pretty cool, but hopefully won't be dancing come Saturday evening after their opening match with New Zealand. 

 

The @BLACKCAPS are here, along with #1 fan @johnkeypm #cwc15 @cricketworldcup ^RI pic.twitter.com/r93PLlr1ei

— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 12, 2015

8.24pm: Show set to start

Dozens of young cricketers have been having a hit on four mini grounds at Hagley Oval in preparation for the main event, which will be starting shortly. There's talk of up to a billion people tuning in to coverage. 

ONE News' Hannah Mills snapped this picture of fans waiting earlier in the evening.

The eyes of the cricketing world turn to Christchurch tonight as the 2015 Cricket World Cup is officially launched at North Hagley Oval.The next seven weeks are set to be dominated by the sound of leather on willow, and will hopefully conclude with Brendon McCullum lifting the trophy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 29. The Black Caps open the tournament in Christchurch against Sri Lanka on Saturday, with co-hosts Australia taking on arch-rivals England at the MCG on the same day. Before the action gets underway, however, we have the obligatory song and dance to get things started. Expect fireworks, Richie McCaw, and the great and good of the gentleman's game.

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