World Cup fever has officially settled in for cricket fans. That’s because, as noted this past week, the ICC has released the full schedule for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The event will be held next summer in England and Wales, and naturally speculation is already starting about which nations are in the best position to receive. The ten countries competing are New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, England, Bangladesh, South Africa, Austalia, Pakistan, India, and the West Indies, and the format will be such that each team will play the other nine, with the four most successful advancing to a semi-final.
It’s a little bit early still for particularly advanced speculation. You can find some early odds around the internet, but since betting hasn’t really heated up yet it stands to reason those odds are still going to move a great deal in the next year before the event. That said, those interested should keep an eye on the Irish markets for sports betting, which cover all kinds of events and will certainly be posting odds on the winners for individual contests, as well as the tournament as a whole. Since the official odds haven’t really settled in yet though, we have a few words on some of the perceived favourites early on.
England – It seems highly likely at this point that England will be the betting favourite as we get closer to the 2019 World Cup, and with good reason. It’s one of the strongest sides in the world, and will clearly get an added benefit as one of the host nations. That said, England didn’t advance past group play back in 2015, so there will be some doubts regardless of form heading into 2019.
Australia – It could well be that Australia would be the favourite if this Cup weren’t happening in England and Wales. And in fact it won’t be much of a surprise if it winds up on top with the bookmakers anyway. Australia won the 2015 World Cup with relative ease, and that victory will still be fresh on a lot of bettors’ minds. Still, we all ought to remember that there has been a drop-off in form. For that matter, England even beat Australia handily on Australian turf earlier this year.
India – One early preview of the 2019 Cup tabbed England and India as runaway favourites, and it will be interesting to see if the odds play out that way. As stated, Australia may get a boost simply because of its general reputation and 2015 performance. But statistically speaking, India has had the most success since the conclusion of the 2015 Cup. It will certainly enter the 2019 event believing it can win.
At least at this stage, these are the three nations that are going to generate the most attention. Recent performance and statistics tell us South Africa and New Zealand will be in the mix as well (which shouldn’t surprise anyone), and in fact some will argue both teams look more promising than Australia. But whatever order you put them in, it’s these five teams that will likely produce the 2019 World Cup winner.