Big crowd expected for first World Cup match

9:36 am on 14 February 2015

A sell-out crowd of 18,000 will watch the Cricket World Cup's first game at Hagley Oval in Christchurch today.

Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup Photo: Photosport

And a potential international audience of up to 2.5 billion people will be able to see the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka on television.

Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum said the team believed it is in with a chance to win the cup.

"There can only be one winner, there will be a lot of teams who come here with high hopes and that leave I guess falling short of the mark.

"If we play our best game, if we stand up, we perform to the level we know how, if we get beat, we get beat, but if we can do that then I think we can walk away pretty satisfied with our performance, and it will certainly give us the best chance in this tournament."

McCullum said it would be good to start the tournament and he was expecting a great crowd.

Most New Zealand punters are betting on the home team to win the tournament, although the TAB has the Black Cups as third favourites.

At the moment is it 8 degrees in Christchurch and drizzling on and off.

The match starts at 11 am. Follow our live coverage here.