Kohli, 4 others appointed World Cup ambassadors
Dubai: India's vice-captain Virat Kohli was Thursday appointed one of the ambassadors of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2015 to be held in Australia and New Zealand, Feb 14-March 29.
Apart from Kohli, who is the stand-in captain for the ongoing One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka, Australia's Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson, New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum and Sri Lankan veteran batsman Kumar Sangakkara have also been named as ambassadors for the prestigious quadrennial tournament, according to an ICC release.
"The ICC Ambassadors will add their support and considerable profile in the build-up to and during the World Cup 2015, including involvement in the ICC's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme and event promotions," ICC said.
Kohli, 26-year-old right-handed batsman who recently became the quickest batsman to score 6,000 runs in ODIs, was also part of India's successful campaign in the 2011 World Cup.
"It is a matter of pride to be selected as the ambassador of the World Cup. I thank ICC for bestowing this honour upon me. As a cricketer, I wish to spread the passion of cricket to grassroot levels and I look at this as an opportunity to unify global initiatives for cricket throughout the world," said Kohli.
Australian fast bowler Johnson was also delighted to be part of the elite group that will be supporting the event.
“As Australia and New Zealand gear up to host the World Cup 2015, I am extremely proud and delighted to be associated with the competition as an ambassador. I look forward to helping promote what is set to be a fascinating tournament with some outstanding teams gearing up to claim cricket's most coveted prize," the 33-year-old left-armer said.
The World Cup will start with New Zealand taking on Sri Lanka in Christchurch, while on the same day in Melbourne, co-host Australia will go head-to-head with England.
A total of 49 matches will be played across 14 venues and Melbourne will host the final.
New Zealand captain McCullum, who has featured in the past three World Cups, said: “With the World Cup just months away, no doubt all countries will be actively plotting and planning their campaigns.
"In 1992, our sport captivated the nations of both New Zealand and Australia, and I have no doubt the 2015 edition will do just the same."