“Sachin… Sachin… ” just the words still bring chills to any fan of the sport and takes them right back to the sweet, sweet sound of his cover drive. Cricket is a magical sport, where a South African player is cheered with utmost joy by heart of Indian cricket by Indian fans even when it’s a match against India, where any player is good at something.

Speaking of which, the world is all set to witness the extravaganza of the cricket world cup, when children and elders will sit together, some in the stadiums, the rest in front of screens, to experience this festivity, this adrenaline rush. People around the world desperately wait for four years to see their favorite players or teams giving it all for the title.

This world cup cherishes the memories of the legends and blesses the seeds of new talent. This is the time in four long years where every man, woman, and child in India is blue, every South African is burning in ProteaFire, every Kiwi is wearing black, every Aussie is wishing for the Ponting team to come back, and every Englishman has started hoping for at least one world cup in any sport. This is the World Cup year.

  • Teams-

Ten brilliant teams will fight for holding the one beauty that everyone seeks. The chosen eleven will try and make the dream of their millions into reality.

The participating include India, England, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and the West Indies. England and Wales will be the hosts of this year’s world cup.

The following info is based on ICC rankings as of now.

The English team leads as the best ODI team followed by India and NZ. England, despite being the inventors of the sport have never been crowned as the world champions and are desperate and hopeful having come close on many occasions. Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali are two of the best all-rounders, and Joe Root’s batting records in England and Wales are incredible which gives the English their first position on ICC ranking table.

The batsman with the best rating is the Indian skipper Virat Kohli.

Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah has the best rating in the bowling department. Combined they give a huge edge to the Indian team. India has previously won the world cup twice.

Australia opens with the dangerous Warner-Finch pair and followed by Smith. This lineup is one of the finest in the tournament. Starc is one of the deadliest fast bowlers with his impressive yorkers and short bowls. Australia hopes to win their sixth world cup, and second consecutive one.

The Proteas still seem to be quite unhealed after the retirement of one of the best batsmen of all times A.B.DeVilliers. Tahir and Rabada are two the best bowlers in the world and are hoped to help South Africa win along with the captain Faf Du Plessis, Amla and Miller.

Kiwis under the captaincy of Kane Williamson are looking good. They currently stand second in the list and after their loss in the finals last world cup in 2015, the team is desperate to win. However they miss the likes of McCullum, and rely on Taylor, Guptill, Boult and Southee to take them over the line.

From refugee camps to international stadiums is the inspiring journey of Afghanistan cricket team. Their cricket team thrives on an international level. Rashid Khan, the magic leg break spinner, is one of the most talented bowlers.

Bangladeshi team led by Shakib-al-Hasan, the best current all rounder, and Mortaza, a fine pacer, seems to aim high in the world cup tournament.

West Indies consists of many destructive batsmen and bowlers. Under the leaderships of Holder and Brathwaite, West Indies hopes to win their third world cup, their last tournament victory being in 1979.

The Lions hope to restore their legendary former glory, led by Dimuth Karunaratna. Legends like Malinga, Peraras, Angelo Matthews play and are hoped to take their team to their second world cup victory.

Pakistan team, led by wicket keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed, includes fine players like Malik and Amir. Pakistan team has won the world cup last in 1992.

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▪ The Ticket Hype:

According to a media release on September 12, 2018, the high demand for tickets during the Public Ballot resulted in over 1.6 million applications for tickets and took the total number of tickets applied for at the tournament to over 2.5 million.

India versus Pakistan remains the most popular fixture with enough ticket applications to fill the Wembley Stadium several times over, alongside key matches such as England vs Australia and the final at Lord’s.

Tickets were bought across 148 different countries. Tickets have been bought from countries like Madagascar and Mexico which is reflective of the global appeal of this World Cup.

The World Cup is also generating the best gate money from the Indian matches. The India-Pakistan match tickets remain the most expensive with the minimum denomination for the June 16 match at Old Trafford, Manchester, starting from ₹ 77,000. In spite of the high price, the India-Pakistan match tickets were sold out within 48 hours from the start of the online sales. Over 80,000 Indian fans are expected to attend the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

▪ All About the Prize money:

The International Cricket Council has declared a total prize money pool of $10 million for the tournament this time, same as that of the 2015th edition. The prize money will be distributed according to the performance of the team.

This year’s winner would be rewarded a whopping amount of $4,000,000 which would be $25,000 more than the prize money awarded to the winning team of the 2015 World Cup

Runner up shall be getting $50,000 more than last year’s winners i.e. this year they will be rewarded an amount of about $2,000,000. The glimpses of the magnificence of this year’s World Cup is evident from the hike in the prize money for the winning teams.

▪ Sponsorships

Being the world’s fourth-largest and fourth-most-viewed sporting event, with an estimated global viewing audience of 1.5 billion, sponsors from all fields are eyeing this to improve their brand recall value and make their presence felt during the World Cup 2019.

Star’s distribution efforts ensure that ICC events are available live to more than 1.5 billion people. Star group has further licensed the rights to top sports broadcasters in each territory with Sky being the official broadcaster in the UK, Super-Sports in the territory of South Africa and Fox Sports in Australia being the key broadcasters

Mihir and Paresh