The wait for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is over. While hosts England take on South Africa in the tournament’s opener today (Thursday), all the 10 teams are busy winding up their preparations for the mega tournament. The prestigious tournament, which will be in its 12th edition. The final will be played on July 14 at historical Lord’s in London.
Bangladesh will confront South Africa on June to kick start their campaign. Defending champions Australia face Afghanistan in their opening match on 1 June, whereas India will begin their campaign against South Africa on 5 June. This time the tournament will be played on classic round robin format, just like it was last played back in 1992 World Cup. Each of the 10 teams will play each other once in a round-robin format.
The top four at the end of the group stage will enter the semi-finals, with the winner of those playing in the final. The cricket matches will be held at venues throughout England and Wales, including at The Oval in London and the Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground in Cardiff. In the last World Cup, Australia beat New Zealand on their own soil to win the World Cup final, making it there fifth win since 1987.
In the past two World Cups, the premier team in the group stages has not gone on to win the tournament. In 2015, India were unbeaten and dominant in the preliminaries only to collapse spectacularly in the semi-final; the winners were Australia, who lost twice in the group stage. A similar thing happened in 2011, when the final was contested between India and Sri Lanka, both of whom finished second in their group, having looked underwhelming in the early stages.
This year the host nation England are the hot favourites to win the World Cup. England have never had a better chance of World Cup success having played brilliant cricket over the last few years, with this one on home soil. Expect them to reach the last four, but India and Australia will be close challengers for cricket’s ultimate prize.