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New Zealand abuzz ahead of World Cup

Feb 12,Wellington : Organisers say New Zealand is buzzing with excitement ahead of the Cricket World Cup, the largest sporting event held in the South Pacific nation since rugby union's showcase tournament in 2011.

New Zealand is co-hosting the event with Australia and will stage 23 games in seven cities, including two quarter-finals and a semi.

"Interest is building really rapidly," Sports Minister Jonathan Coleman told AFP.

"The Black Caps have had a great summer, we've sold more than 300,000 tickets of the 400,000 available in New Zealand. It's all go, people are really excited about the tournament, about the visitors coming here and we're quietly optimistic about the Black Caps chances."

The tournament is a rare moment in the spotlight for cricket, a sport which comes a distant second to rugby union in the popularity stakes of a land obsessed with the mighty All Blacks.