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Breaking down 2019's biggest sporting events - Part 1 - The ICC Cricket World Cup

by , 23 May 2019
Breaking down 2019's biggest sporting events - Part 1 - The ICC Cricket World Cup
2019 has arrived and we are already five months into the year!

We need to start preparing for this year's two biggest sporting events.

The Cricket World Cup & the Rugby World Cup.

In order for us to get a head start on the competition, I'll be breaking down the first of these major sporting events starting on the 30th of May.

The Cricket World Cup!

So let's get started.
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The format of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
This will be the 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup and is scheduled to start from the 30th of May till the 14th of July 2019.
This will also be the fifth time that the tournament has been held in England and Wales.
The tournament will be played across 11 different venues with the final being played at Lord’s in London.
The group stages of the tournament will see a single group of ten teams, with each team playing the other nine in a round-robin format. The top four teams at the end of the group stage will advance to the knockout stage comprising of two semi-finals and a final.
So, now that we know the format of the ICC Cricket World Cup, we can now have a look at the ten teams participating, their strengths and the key players to watch for.
The ten teams participating are:
New Zealand
South Africa
Sri Lanka
West Indies
Now let’s preview each team…
1. Afghanistan
As the 15 man squad was announced for Afghanistan, former captain Asghar Afghan and bowler Hamid Hassan drew a lot of attention.
Asghar will be a key batsman for the squad but players such as Mohammad Shahzad, Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah are their key batsmen.
Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman will be critical to their bowling.
Afghanistan has been making strides in ODI’s in the recent past, winning the ICC World Cup Qualifier held in Zimbabwe last year February and before that they beat Ireland 2-1 in Ireland. This team will exceed expectations, however, I don’t see them lifting the trophy on the 14th of July.
2. Australia
After finishing their long term bans, David Warner and Steve Smith will be returning to the Australian national team.
Along with Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, these four men will be key to Australia’s batting.
Pat Cummings, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Starc will be the players most threatening with the ball.
Australia are the most successful team in the tournament boasting five titles.
They beat New Zealand in the previous world cup and enter the 2019 tournament as defending champions.
Australia’s recent form has seen them bounce back into their winning ways, carrying out a 5-0 whitewash of Pakistan.
Australia are definitely a team worth watching as the defending champions look to lift the trophy on the 14th of July.
3. Bangladesh
Bangladesh will look to Tamim Iqbal, Mahammad Mithum and Mushfiqur Rahim as the base for their batting while Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman will form part of their bowling department.
Shakib Al Hasan will be a threat for both Bangladeshi’s bowling and batting.
Bangladeshi’s recent form saw them defeating the West Indies 2-1 in their own backyard and gave India a heart attack in the UAE final.
However, New Zealand did hand them a 0-3 loss in February earlier this year.
I see Bangladesh doing well, but just not enough to see them reach the finals.
4. England
England’s batting threat will come from players like Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan and Jos Butler. While their bowling will be handled by Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, David Willey and Liam Plunkett.
The bookies have England as the favourite to win the world cup. They are three time finalists but have yet to lift the trophy.
So it comes as no surprise that we may see England in the final and potentially lift the trophy at the end of the tournament.
5. India
India will be looking to MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma as their batting front line, while players like Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah will form part of their bowling attack.
India come into this tournament as two time winners, as well as an impressive form, winning 10 out of their last 12 ODI matches. However, they were defeated in March by Australia 2-3.
But with their consistent form and balanced team, India are on the list to lift the trophy and become three-time winners.
6. New Zealand
New Zealand’s strongest players with a bat are Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. The most threat from the ball will come from Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry and Tim Southee.
New Zealand’s recent form is nothing to rave about. Winning four, losing two and drawing one out of their last seven series. They seem to be back and forth, winning against Sri Lanka in January, then receiving a hammering from India before beating Bangladesh.
The lack of consistency from this team leads me to the notion they will not see the semi-finals.
7. Pakistan
The key batsmen for Pakistan will be Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman, while Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan and Shadab Khan will form part of their bowling arsenal.
Again much like New Zealand, Pakistan’s recent form hasn’t been great. They managed a draw against New Zealand, suffered a defeat against South Africa and got whitewashed by Australia.
Although they are former champions, winning the tournament back in 1992. I don’t see them making it to the semi-finals.
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8. South Africa
South Africa’s batting line up will consist of Hashim Amla, Quinton De Kock, Faf Du Plessis and JP Duminy while players such as Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir will be the main threat with a ball.
South Africa have won six out of the last seven ODI’s and show really great form going into the world cup. They are considered one of the most dangerous ODI teams in the world, however, they have never won the world cup.
However, with a great track record they could finally make it to the finals.
I just hope they don’t choke.
9. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s key players when it comes to bowling will be Lashith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva. Their most reliable figures for batting will be Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera and Angelo Mathews.
Sri Lanka hasn’t had a great track record, with not a single win in their last ten ODI series.
I don’t see Sri Lanka making it to the finals.
10. West Indies
Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell will be the power hitters for Sri Lanka while Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Jason Holder will be the best with the ball.
A clear indicator of how the West Indies have struggled over the last few years is the fact they haven’t won an ODI series since 2015.
The last time they won an ODI series was back in 2014. After losing to Afghanistan in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier last year before drawing to England at home.
The West Indies have talent in all departments, but we will have to see what they bring to the table when the world cup starts.
Who will win the ICC Cricket World Cup?
To start this off let me say I don’t think Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and West Indies will reach the semi-finals.
New Zealand and Pakistan are both great teams, however, they both lack consistency.
This leaves us with South Africa, Australia, India and England to make it to the semi-finals.
Australia are the defending champions and their batting looks strong with Warner and Smith back in action. South Africa have a great bowling side but their batting seems to be an area of weakness with Hashim Amla not being able to find form.
India have had the greatest success rate in ODI’s since the 2015 world cup and when it comes to their bowlers, be it spinners or fast pacers, they rank amongst the very best in the world.
However, it’s their batsman that will have to pick up the slack.
England on the other hand are currently the best ODI team in the world and they have a big upper hand playing in their own back yard. England have won all seven of their bilateral ODI series at home and have sent teams like Pakistan, West Indies and Australia packing with their tails between their legs.
With a strong squad and home field advantage I see England as the most likely team to lift the trophy at the end of the tournament. 
Until next time,
Christopher Ammon,
Head Tipster, The Winning Streak Team

Breaking down 2019's biggest sporting events - Part 1 - The ICC Cricket World Cup
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