Cricket's biggest festival is here. Yes! It's time for the ICC cricket world cup-one of the most widely liked and followed global sporting event. The 11th edition of the quadrennial tournament is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. This is the second time that the world cup is staged in trans-Tasman territory since 1992. An encounter between New Zealand and Sri Lanka will kick-off the 44 day tournament at Christchurch on February 14. After 48 matches two of the finest teams will lock horns in Melbourne on March 29 to claim supremacy in world cricket. In this tournament, 14 teams are split into two pools of seven each, which will play 42 games in all in the group stage, with each team playing each other once in their respective pool. In pool A, England, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland whereas in pool B, South Africa, India, Pakistan, west indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE fight with one another to top their pool. The top four teams from each pool will qualify for the quarter finals from which the winners will play into the semi-finals and then the winners will play Finals. Until now Australia have won the world cup for 4 times, West Indies and India have won 2 times and Sri Lanka and Pakistan have once.
The favourite teams of this world cup are South Africa and Australia. As far as South Africa team is concerned, the players like David Miller, Amla, AB de Villers are running in very good form and have ability to change the match result on their own. The bowling attack is led by world's fastest bowler Dyel Steyn. It seems that South Africa will make all out efforts this time to remove the tag of 'chokers'. The second favourite team is Australia which is strong and to beat them in their own backyard is very tough. Their batsmen are performing consistently and also bowlers are always on the target. The brightest part of this team is that the players do perform at the time when team needs the most. On the other hand, New Zealand team is reckoned to be the dark horse in this world cup. The players of this team play as a unit and the key player cum captain in the name of McCullum have capability to lead the team from the front and do the major upsets. Besides the New Zealand has an advantage to play many league matches on their home ground. So this way New Zealand is going to be a tough contender. Other teams like Sri Lanka, West Indies and Pakistan are also well balanced teams and have spirit to fight till the end. The team like Afghanistan, playing the world cup for the first time and lower rank is also full of energy and ready to make upsets in the world cup.
But as an Indian we always wish India to win the world cup. No doubt Indian team did not do well in the recently concluded series against Aussies and in Triangular series held in Australia. But since India has been playing in Australia for last 2-3 months which must have made him acquainted with the weather there besides having experience of the Australian fast pitches, India has an opportunity to perform better now. India's biggest and unique strength is that of its captaincy. Under the versatile captaincy of MS Dhoni, India has so far won numerous mega events viz. World cup 2011, Champions Trophy and so on so forth. It is hoped that India will perform better and surely make their way at least to the semi-final of the World cup 2015.
India have bagged ICC world cup for 2 times until now. In 1983, India playing as an underdog beat the mighty West Indies in the finals and won the trophy. This win had brought revolution in Indian cricket. In 2011, India gave heroic farewell to the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar by wining world cup 2011.
In this world cup, in order to have more transparency, it has been decided that TV viewer can also listen the talks between the umpires and third umpires during the course of the match. This time additional measures have been taken by the ICC to ensure that there does not exist the evil like gambling and match fixings. Some special arrangements have been made for the securities of the players.
And the cricket festival begins, hope every team gives their best efforts and play in right spirit. Deserving team should be the champion. Hope good luck for India and wish to bring home the world cup for the 3rd time. #wewontgiveitback