ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales
I am writing this blog on 25-02-2019 and warm-up matches of CW2019 have been started. Afghanistan pulls off warm-up win over Pakistan whereas South Africa thrashes Sri Lanka in first day of warm-up matches.
World cup is going to start on 30th May 2019. Excitement is increasing and hopes are developing. If I talk about my favorite sides, then I will choose England and New Zealand.
England have never won the Cricket World Cup but they may never get a better chance with bookmakers rating them favorites to win this year’s tournament on home soil. New Zealand almost always is outside the top four favorites before the start of every World Cup, and yet they almost always make the semi-finals. With this squad, however, the target should certainly be more than just the top four.
It’s certain that Pakistan will be unpredictable. At the Champions Trophy in England two years ago, they were routed by India by 124 runs in the opening match before thrashing their arch-rivals by a massive 180 runs in the final. Under Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan have some exciting talent – from Mohammad Amir to Shaeen Shah Afridi to Hasan Ali. If their vulnerable batting comes good they could repeat the exploits of Imran Khan who led the team to their only World Cup in Australia in 1992.
Under Virat Kohli’s leadership, heavyweights India will enter the World Cup as favorites alongside England. The second-ranked one-day side in the world has been in fine form with recent series victories in Australia and New Zealand. India had a superb 2018 with ODI wins in South Africa (5-1), and West Indies (3-1) and the Asia Cup title in the UAE. England also brings back happy memories for the two-time World Cup champions who first lifted the trophy at Lord’s in 1983.
World Cups and Australia is a different love affair for they cannot be ruled out in any manner in major ICC Tournaments – especially World Cups. They are the only team to win this coveted title for a record five times. Australians have won it in every continent wherever Cricket is played. They have reached the finals in the World Cup for a record seven times, winning five and losing twice – to West Indies in 1975 and to Srilanka in 1996. Australia won a hattrick of World Cups from 1999-2007 and became only the second team to successfully defend their title after West Indies.
Its 27 years to the day that South Africa made their World Cup debut. On 26 February 1992, South Africa made their first appearance at an ICC Cricket World Cup. Since then, they have been a part of every edition of the tournament, reaching the semi-finals on four occasions. Their hunt for an elusive first title goes on, and the current crop of players will be hoping to break their duck this year.
With allegations of match-fixing and corruption plaguing Sri Lankan cricket, the 1996 World Cup champions are not a threat to top international sides despite their recent Test win in South Africa. The islanders crashed out of the 2015 edition after a big loss to South Africa in the quarter-finals and have since witnessed a decline in their cricketing fortunes.
Champions of the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, the West Indies appear doomed to endure a tortuous tournament despite their recent Test series win over England on home ground. Failed to get past the quarter-finals in 2011 and 2015 and were forced to qualify for 2019.
Perennial underachievers Bangladesh will be looking to improve on their 2015 quarter-final finish after some heartening performances in the United Kingdom. They qualified for the semi-finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy from a group that also featured hosts England, Australia and New Zealand.
Afghanistan have made rapid strides since featuring in the 2015 World Cup and they are not to be under-rated. At the 2018 Asia Cup, they beat Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and tied against eventual champions India.