Thursday 30 May to Sunday 14 July
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
It may be a tournament to determine the best one-day cricket team in the world but boy does it go on forever. It’s going to take a month and a half to get to the final at Lord’s and England are the favourites to lift the trophy for the first time in their history.
44 years ago, England hosted the first ever World Cup cricket tournament and this time around they are the favourites to finally win it. They are 2/1 (3.0) at Betway to become world champions and there are plenty of reaons why that may well happen.
England top the world rankings and had a 4-0 series win over Pakistan this month. They are strong in all areas of the game, particularly batting. Scores of 350 from 50 overs will be commonplace in this tournament. The 400 mark is likely to be reached on some of the smaller grounds being used such as Bristol and Chester Le Street.
Batsman such as Johnny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan are all in good form this season. Then there’s the awesome Jos Buttler whose big-hitting exploits are unbelievable at times. Buttler is 7/1 (8.0) with SkyBet to hit the most sixes in this tournament. There are plenty of contenders for that honour though with Chris Gayle (who was in brilliant form for the West Indies against England earlier this year) at 6/1 (7.0) if placing your bet with SportPesa.
England’s bowling attack is full of potential match winners. Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes, Tom Curran, Tim Wood and the spin of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali will cause problems galore in this tournament. Adil Rashid is 16/1 (17.0) to be the top wicket-taker in the 2018 Cricket World Cup.
The tournament comprises of ten teams who begin by facing each other in a league with the top four qualifying for the semi-finals. Most days there’s just one match being played, hence the length of the tournament.. To win the title, England will have to get the better of Australia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies and Bangladesh.
Australia have dominated the World Cup in recent years. They have won four of the last five tournaments and are 4/1 (5.0) at Betfred to win this year. Australia have had some struggles in one-day cricket in recent years and are currently ranked fifth in the world with England, India, South Africa and New Zealand.
India are going to be a major threat and have won the World Cup twice in their history. They have reached two of the last four finals and last won the title in 2011. Teams will be desperate to get Virat Kohil out early and you can get 15/2 (8.5) at Unibet on him being the top run-scorer in this tournament.
Steve Smith and David Warner are back from their bans and Smith is already showing good form with a century against England at the weekend. You can get 16/1 (17.0) on Smith being the top scoring batsman in this tournament. Jofra Archer has been named in the England squad and he’s 20/1 (21.0) at Ladbrokes to get the most wickets in the tournament.
Australia have won the tournament a record five times. The next bet after that is India and the West Indies with two wins apiece. The West Indies won the first two tournaments, so it’s 40 years since their last victory. They impressed during the recent series with England and are 20/1 (21.0) with Paddy Power to win in 2019.
India are 10/3 (4.3) with Sportingbet and are always a good bet to reach the latter stages of any tournament. Perhaps this will be the year when New Zealand win the trophy. They lost in the last final after six semi-final appearances. You can get 9/1 (10.0) at BetVictor on them winning the title for the first time.
England are ranked number one in the world, are on home soil and have plenty of players in top form.The chances are they may well win it as long as key players remain fit. It’s a long tournament and once you get down to the semi-finals and final, just one great innings or bowling spell can turn a match. England are 10/11 (1.91) at William Hill to reach the final and that looks the most solid bet of the tournament.