The 12th edition of the cricket world is closer than ever, and cricket fans all around the world couldn’t be more excited. The format for the tournament will be a single group of 10 teams, with each team playing the other nine once, and the top four at the end of the group phase progressing to the semi-finals. The 10-team tournament has gained criticism due to the lack of Associate teams in the tournament. Given the increase of the Test-playing nations from 10 to 12, with the admission of Ireland and Afghanistan in June 2017, it will be the first World Cup to be contested without all of the Test playing nations being present and after the elimination of all the Associate teams at the qualifying tournament, this will also be the first World Cup to feature no Associate members. The tournament will be hosted in England and Wales, the matches will be played at 11 different stadiums in 10 different cities. The final will take place at the “Mecca of cricket” i.e The Lords Stadium in London.
The 2019 World Cup will feature 10 teams, a decrease from previous World Cups in 2011 and 2015 which featured 14 teams.[ The hosts, England, and the top seven other teams in the ICC One Day International rankings as of 30 September 2017 earned an automatic qualification, with the remaining two spots being decided by the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Here are four teams who have the best chance of taking home the trophy-
Pakistan won the 2017 ICC Champions trophy by defeating arch rival’s India in the final. They have a high chance of lifting their 2nd World Cup after the triumph in 1991. The squad has not changed too much for the Champions Trophy. The look like a capable squad who will go far in the tournament. The team will once again be lead by the Wicket Keeper Batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed. There is a lot of young talent like Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan. The experience of veterans Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafez will also play a huge part. Longtime coach Mickey Arthur will guide the team.
2. South Africa
The Proteas have a history of chocking at the big stage, who can forget the 1999 Semi-Final. This time they will be keen on winning their maiden world cup. A lot has changed since Grant Elliot hit a six to knock South Africa out of the Semifinal in 2015 as AB de Villiers retired from all forms of International cricket last year. The 2015 world cup semifinal finish was followed by an underwhelming 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. The squad is perfectly balanced being led by Faf Du Plessis. They have a relatively experienced squad with the youngest player being the 23-year-old Andile Phehlukwayo. The team will be coached by Ottis Gibson.
Even after playing in 3 finals England has never won the illustrious trophy but this year it seems like all the pieces might fall in place. The side led by Eion Morgan is very strong in all aspects of the. Alex Hales who was named in the preliminary squad was later withdrawn as he failed his drug test. The 2015 world cup was an embarrassing one for England. Where they failed to get past the group stage. It was followed by a Semifinal finish in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. We think that this time they might go all the way.
Obviously, we had to put India in there, ever since the disappointment in 2007 India has had an incredible run in International tournaments and we don’t expect this one to be any different. The side led by the fiery Virat Kohli looks to be all guns blazing and very well balanced. It is a young but at the same time an experienced squad with only two players (KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar) who have played less than 40 ODI’s. The blues have a deep batting line up and also a strong and reliable bowling attack.
Now you might be wondering where’s Australia? Do they not have a chance
Well, you can never sideline the kangaroo’s, but ever since the 2015 triumph Australian cricket has been all over the place. An extremely disappointing Champions trophy was followed by the infamous Sand Paper incident. Subsequently, the then captain and vice-captain Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for a year. Both of them are back for the world cup but we do not expect them to win it with the atmosphere in the dressing room.
This was our prediction let us know yours!