This year the World Cup will be played in a different format. No Group Stages. All teams will play each other at least once. And the top four teams with the most points will get to play in the semifinals. Also, this year’s World Cup will be played in England and Wales, and the finals will be played at the Mecca of Cricket – Lord’s Cricket Ground. There are a lot of things to ponder upon this World Cup and it will be exciting to see who lifts the Trophy on the 14th of July.
This year, it will be fun to watch a different format of the World Cup tournament than the regular format which we have been used to. The unpredictability factor also kicks in due to the fact that the pitches in England offer a decent amount of bounce and any total above 250 would still be considered a competitive total to defend. Apart from that, England’s unpredictable weather can also work its magic and force the infamous Duckworth Lewis system in any rain-affected match. Players these days are well aware of their opponents’ techniques and tactics thanks to tournaments like IPL, Big Bash League, among many others.
SOUTH AFRICA WITHOUT ABD
Cricket is a team sport and with the absence of one player, there shouldn’t be much of a difference. Well, in South Africa’s case it is going to be a tough task as expectations will be high to deliver. It took everyone by shock when AB de Villiers hung up his boots. There were talks about his replacement but South African captain Faf du Plessis is having none of that. He wants the team to focus on keeping a positive mindset throughout the tournament and believe in their skills. In the bowling department, it will be Kagiso Rabada’s first World Cup. This speedster has raw talent and South Africa will rely on him to deliver his best performance this World Cup.
AFGHANISTAN’S MAIDEN WORLD CUP
A new World Cup qualification structure was introduced in which the host nation of the World Cup and the top seven other teams in the ICC ODI Championship on 30 September 2017 would qualify directly for the World Cup, with the remaining two spots being decided by the World Cup qualifying tournament. It was West Indies who became the first team to qualify for the 2019 World Cup. But one more team were to qualify for the World Cup and Afghanistan was one of them as they defeated Ireland to become the second team to qualify for the tournament. The story didn’t end there for Afghanistan as they defeated West Indies in the finals of the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. It will be a proud moment for every Afghan as the players will play their first World Cup match on 1st June against mighty Australia.
WEST INDIES AS THE DARK HORSE
In our anniversary issue, we had the opportunity to ask a couple of questions to the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar. And one of the questions our Editor in Chief had asked him was which team would be the dark horse this tournament. Sachin with his broad smile replied that West Indies will be the team to look out for. We too agree with his choice. The West Indian lineup has been quite inconsistent in terms of performance, but their recent players’ form has been outstanding in the IPL. Of course, conditions will be different in England and Wales, but the West Indian players are excelling in almost all the departments. They are definitely one team to look out for in the tournament, underestimating them would be a serious mistake.