The countdown to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 has started nearly in all the participating nations with the excitement level reaching its peak.
|1.||Friday, 24 May||Pakistan vs Afghanistan||Bristol County Ground||3.00 pm IST|
|2.||Friday, 24 May||Sri Lanka vs South Africa||Cardiff Wales Stadium||3.00 pm IST|
|3.||Saturday, 25 May||England vs Australia||Hampshire Bowl||3.00 pm IST|
|4.||Saturday, 25 May||India vs New Zealand||The Oval||3.00 pm IST|
|5.||Sunday, 26 May||South Africa vs Windies||Bristol County Ground||3.00 pm IST|
|6.||Sunday, 26 May||Pakistan vs Bangladesh||Cardiff Wales Stadium||3.00 pm IST|
|7.||Monday, 27 May||Australia vs Sri Lanka||Hampshire Bowl||3.00 pm IST|
|8.||Monday, 27 May||England vs Afghanistan||The Oval||3.00 pm IST|
|9.||Tuesday, 28 May||West Indies vs New Zealand||Bristol County Ground||3.00 pm IST|
|10.||Tuesday, 28 May||Bangladesh vs India||Cardiff Wales Stadium||3.00 pm IST|
International Cricket Council (ICC) recently announced the list of commentators and the detailed broadcast plans for narrowing the gap between the 10 team event and billions of the fans worldwide supporting their nation for the entire duration of 45-days.
Michael Clarke, the last captain to get his hands on the prestigious trophy will be seen alongside various stalwarts of the game such as Nasser Hussain, Sourav Ganguly, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton, Brendon McCullum, Graeme Smith, Wasim Akram, and the list goes on. The warm-up games build up a pre-excitement level for the entire cricket fraternity including those of the participating nations, players and also to its worldwide viewers and fans to get a feel of the pressure during the World Cup.
The tournament unfolds on the 30th May 2019 when the hosts, England lock horns with the Proteas- both nations look to fancy their chances to add a first-of-its-kind 50- over “ICC World Cup” trophy in their respective cabinet. England will be hosting the tournament for the fifth time following 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 World Cups where the winners were Westindies (’75,’79), India (’83) and Australia (’99).
The format of the 2019 tournament will be a repeat of the 1992 edition, the only difference being it will feature 10 teams instead of 9. Each of the participating nations will face all of their opponents once and the top 4 nations will advance to the Semi-Finals of the competition.
The warm-up games promise some of the exciting battles to watch out for. England-Australia will be seen in action where the defending champions will be eager to set the platform to re-write the statistical records with its biggest arch-rivals. Also, India- Kiwis will face each other for the first time in the tournament after the 2003 edition.
Pakistan, though matches scheduled against comparative weaker squads of their Asia Cup rivals (Bangladesh & Afghanistan) look ahead to start their campaign on a positive note and thereby extend its dominance after their ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 & ICC Champions Trophy 2018 victory on English soil.
South Africa led by Faf du Plessis will make their 8th appearance in the World Cup and consider themselves as one of the firm contenders in the tournament. After their successful last 3 limited overs assignments against SL, PAK and AUS; the Proteas look ahead upon its rich record (4-time Semi-finalists), this time aiming to clear off the “chokers” tag of the ICC Cricket World Cup. With the warm-up matches scheduled against the Islanders and the Caribbean, defeating the hosts- England in the opener of the tournament will be the biggest asset; the Proteas camp looks ahead to march in the competition.
India, led by Virat Kohli and his troops will chase the dreams of its huge and varied fan base across the globe including that of the Bharat Army- who always acts as a big support system for the nation in away tournaments. With a balanced and strong squad for the World Cup, India aims to don in Blue colors after a successful IPL campaign for most of the players in the squad. Shikhar Dhawan- known as the player of ICC tournaments alongside the winning captain of MI franchise- Rohit Sharma realize the effect of a strong start in all of its matches to get effective and positive results from their strong squad on paper.
The Kiwis and Bangladesh trial will be a huge platform for India to don in Blues on English soil after a mini-IPL dose. Winning the 1983 World Cup and 2013 Champions trophy will certainly be a huge added advantage, but the support staff and players certainly look to air-strike the 2017 incident and start afresh. The 2-time World Champions- India; aim to capitalize on their playing XI and utilize the players as per the conditions and situations (pitch, opponents & match).
Playing a fearless and attacking cricket without the pressure of making it to the last 4 and lifting the trophy from the start, will certainly help the Men In Blue to fly back to India with an extra member requiring no ticket and fare in form of ICC Cricket World Cup trophy. Kiwis and the Bangladeshi Tigers prelims will certainly act as a huge platform for many of the Indian players to lace their boots strong to move ahead in the competition with loads of positivity and self-confidence.
Bangladeshi Tigers will land in England with the role-change in its fortunes from being mere underdogs, nearly a decade ago in the ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments, to being considered a strong – contender to reach the next stages. From defeating England and featuring in the Quarter-Finals of 2015 CWC, Mashrafe Mortaza’s men recently outperformed the Windies to clinch their maiden multi-team tournament in their last ODI assignment before the CWC 2019. Facing their Asian Games rivals in its scheduled warm-up fixtures, the Tigers aim to give a mini-dose of its roaring before they hit the field against SA on 2nd June to start off their journey.
The Islandic nation, SL will be playing the tournament fighting against all odds- whether being it the appointment of their captain, Karunaratne- not having played a single ODI since past few years or the squad not having won any bilateral ODI series since June 2016. Despite its poor statistical records, the 1996 WC champions stay confident to re-group strong from their warm-up matches scheduled against SA and the Aussies.