Rachin Ravindra, left, and Devon Conway, right, helped New Zealand to a dominant win in the first match of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup against New Zealand ©Getty Images

Defending champions England were comprehensively beaten by New Zealand in the first match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men's Cricket World Cup in India.

In a rematch of the controversial and thrilling 2019 final won by England in London on the now-defunct boundary countback rule after the match and the super over ended in a tie, it was New Zealand who gained a measure of revenge at the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

There were swathes of empty seats at the venue named after India's controversial Prime Minister, expected to form a key part of a bid from the nation to host the 2036 Olympics and Paralympics.

Organisers have not provided an official attendance.

Tickets only went on sale on August 25, and it has been reported around 45,000 were sold for the opener.

New Zealand opted to field first, and although England became the first team ever to have all 11 batters hit double figures in a one-day international, they laboured to 282 runs for nine wickets.

Joe Root provided the biggest contribution with 77 runs from 86 balls, but England missed the injured Ben Stokes who was the star of the 2019 final.

Although more fans arrived as the match progressed, the stands were sparsely packed at the Narendra Modi Stadium ©Getty Images
Although more fans arrived as the match progressed, the stands were sparsely packed at the Narendra Modi Stadium ©Getty Images

New Zealand comfortable chased down the total required, and claimed victory by nine wickets with 13 overs and four balls remaining.

England found an early wicket when Will Young was caught on a bowl by Sam Curran, but Rachin Ravindra then joined Devon Conway for a sensational partnership of 273 to guide New Zealand to victory,

Conway hit 152 from 121 deliveries and Ravindra 123 from 96.

Ravindra earned player of the match, but praised his team-mates for the win.

"It was great to have a great day out," he said.

"The bowlers bowled really well to restrict them to 280, and luckily enough I had Devon out there to show me how to do it which was pretty cool.

"I’ve spent a lot of time with Dev, we’re close mates.

"It’s very special to be able to see that moment with him and spend so much time at the crease with him, which probably helped and meant I was a little bit more comfortable than I could have been."

Cricket is targeting a return to the Olympic Games for the first time since Paris 1900 at Los Angeles 2028 using the Twenty20 format, which International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has hinted he supports.

It is expected a recommendation could be made at this month's IOC Session in Mumbai to include cricket on the programme, although a decision was surprisingly postponed last month due to ongoing discussions with the Organising Committee.

The next match in the 10-team ICC Men's Cricket World Cup is due to feature Pakistan against The Netherlands in Hyderabad tomorrow.