ICC World Cup 2019 Outright
Cricket World Cup vs Twenty20
Since the establishment of World Series Cricket in the late 1970’s, One Day Internationals (or ODI’s) have been an integral part of world cricket. Unlike traditional test matches, which are played over five days, feature all-white playing strips and are a test of endurance as much as skill, one-day matches showcase nations in their team colours and a much higher scoring-rate, making it ideal for casual fans of the sport.
The one-day format has thrown up some of the most epic finishes in the history of the sport. Australian fans will never forget the performances of Michael Bevan, notable for his amazing match awareness and ability to complete run-chases when his side looked dead in the water, and his most famous effort came against the West Indies in the 1995/96 series when he hit a last-ball boundary at the Sydney Cricket Ground to win the game.
The shorter format of the game was a great way to introduce other nations to the game of cricket, and while the idea of a test-match world cup was unfathomable due to the length of time it would take, one-day matches made it feasible. The first Cricket World Cup was played in England in 1975, and to date there have been eleven tournaments in total.
Although the recent introduction of Twenty20 cricket has captured the hearts of many new cricket fans, the Cricket World Cup is still seen as one of the pinnacles of the sport and the 2019 edition, to be held in England and Wales, will be heavily anticipated.
Below are all of the odds available for the teams with the best chances of winning the tournament, followed by our in-depth analysis of each nation.
|ICC World Cup 2019 – To Win Outright|
The Favourites – Australia
Five-time champions Australia have an impeccable record in the World Cup and will be looking to add another trophy to their collection. The Aussies have made it to the final seven times from eleven attempts, and have won the tournament in all conditions against in India (1987), England (1999), South Africa (2003) the West Indies (2007) and at home in the most recent edition (2015).
Although the Australian cricket team were undoubtedly at the peak of their powers in the late 90’s and 2000’s, they are always one of the toughest prospects in world cricket and are a certainty to thrive in the 2019 tournament. They have amazing squad depth and a host of talented up-and-comers, and as captain Steve Smith will still be in his prime when the competition begins, expect big things from the green and gold.
Betting on the favourite is never an easy decision, mainly because the odds for other teams are much more enticing, however in this case the +333 on offer for Australia is decent. Given their pedigree and history of success in the tournament, it is unlikely that their odds will drop much further, so our advice is to get on the Australians now if you agree they are the best chance of winning the 2019 World Cup.
England will once again host the tournament; 2019 will be the fifth time that the home of cricket will be the home of the World Cup. Sadly, in spite of having home advantage on five occasions, the English have not once lifted the trophy and have finished runners-up three times. In the last twenty years, the side has not once made it to the final four teams, so they will be looking to reverse a trend that is getting out of hand.
At odds of +450, England are joint-second favourite according to Bet365.com. While the World Cup presents all competing nations with a fighting chance of winning the tournament, it is hard to see the English breaking their drought and charging to victory in 2019. It is unlikely that their odds will change much prior to the commencement of the competition due to them being the host nation, but it is our opinion that there are better options available.
India join the hosts as one of the pre-tournament second-favourites and at +450 are a much brighter prospect. The Indians have a great record in one-day matches and will be extremely tough to beat. Given the amount of expats that live in the UK, they will always have plenty of support even at an away tournament, and this could be the year that they go all the way.
India are one of the more successful teams in the history of the tournament, winning it twice (including once in England) and finishing in the top four on six occasions from eleven attempts. They are also coming off a runners-up performance in the recent Champions Trophy tournament, also held in England, which presents solid evidence that they do well in English-hosted competitions. They are a great pick.
South Africa are the third team that come in at +450 and consistently bring one of the strongest teams on paper to the World Cup. The English conditions will suit their style of play, and they are known for producing prodigious batting talent, which will be critical on the small English grounds. The key question as always is can they deliver when it counts on the big stage?
If you’re thinking of betting on South Africa, you will pretty much have to ignore their prior tournament performances. Out of the seven World Cups that they have entered, they have lost at the semi-final stage on four occasions, and sometimes in the most brutal fashion.
Who can forget the 1999 tournament where they were level with Australia and needed just one run to go through before a brain explosion led to one of the most memorable finishes in cricket history? You’d have to be bold to put your money on them.
In With A Chance
Pakistan are definite tournament contenders, although will always be considered just outside the top sides in terms of betting because it is very hard to know what they will produce. Security issues in the country have led them to play all of their home games outside of Pakistan for a number of years, and although they have done extremely well considering the hardship, they never come into a tournament with the same preparation as the other nations.
Mind you, the Pakistanis won the recently held ICC Champions Trophy tournament, beating arch-rivals India in the final, and are a great value pick priced at +1000. The side has won the World Cup once, back in 1992, and made it to the final four on six occasions, so you can always count on them to perform in the big competitions.
New Zealand were runners-up at the 2015 World Cup which they co-hosted with Australia, and that represents their best ever finish at a World Cup. The Kiwis have made it to the semi final stage on seven occasions, losing six of them – a record that South Africa would be proud of. With their current playing group it is hard to see them challenging the top sides, and their odds of +600 are far too short.
Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup and have made it to two finals in the past three tournaments. Their success during this period was built around the great Kumar Sangakkara, although since his retirement the Sri Lankans haven’t been the same prospect. They are priced at +1000, although the Pakistanis represent much better value at the same price. Like the New Zealanders, it is hard to see the Sri Lankans winning this tournament.
The Wild Card – West Indies
No-one really knows what kind of team will turn out for the West Indies, which makes them a definite wild-card. They have won two of the last three World Twenty20 tournaments, although haven’t been able to transition that form over to the fifty-over format, and with ongoing disputes between the players and the board it is no guarantee they will even turn up to the 2019 World Cup. In saying that, they have a great roster and could well shake up the tournament. One feels they are probably at longer odds than +1200, but watch this space.
The rest of the teams on the list have no genuine chance of winning the tournament, however have the potential to knock over some of the big guns on their day.
Bangladesh stunned the cricket world when they knocked England out of the 2015 World Cup, and Ireland are capable of causing big upsets when they are at the top of their game. Your best bet here is to look at individual matches and try your luck.
It is hard to go past tournament favourites Australia at the moment, although India are an equal chance at slightly more generous odds.
With so much cricket to be played between now and the start of the competition, it’s really anyone’s guess, although now is the best time to get your team at the best price.
Do you agree with the above analysis? What are your thoughts? Be sure to join in the conversation on Facebook and let us know who you believe will win the 2019 World Cup.
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