30 May, 2019
It may be tough to believe, but in India, certain festivals transcend all religions and unite people no other. One among those happens to be Sport, and even in that Cricket happens to be one of the most popular. So, when the Cricket World Cup arrives, it is no less than a festival and celebration in India, across the country. Many people are so crazy about the game that they would have booked the tickets for the matches, well in advance, even if it happens in some other country. In short, Indians love their cricket and consider it a religion. One that has almost the whole billion population follows ardently.
As you may be aware, after the hustle and bustle of the General Elections, Indians are preparing to watch the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which is scheduled to be held from 30 May to 14 July 2019. This time, it is hosted by England and Wales and as such has allowed many people to travel to mix cricket and tourism.
The ICC Cricket World Cup is held once every four years, and the top eight teams from the ICC one day rankings table qualify to play in this tournament. The eight teams which have qualified to play this year are Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and West Indies.
While a few pre-tournament warm-up matches are happening, the actual tournament kicks off from 30th May 2019, when hosts England take on South Africa at the Oval in London. After the group round-robin matches, the teams selected based on points and Net Run Rate (if required), will play the semifinal scheduled to be held on 9th Jul 2019 at the Old Trafford and 11th Jul 2019 at Edgbaston.
The final of the ICC Cricket World Cup will be held on 14th Jul 2019 at the iconic Lord’s cricket stadium in London, as expected, most Indians are hoping to see and cheer their team in there. The defending champions for this tournament are Australia who defeated their neighboring country New Zealand in the final held at MCG, Melbourne, Australia in 2015. India, if you recall, had won the previous edition to that in 2011, beating Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, with Dhoni as the captain. While Australia has won it five times already, India has made it twice to the podium, the first one being in 1983 with legendary player Kapil Dev as the Captain. The other countries to have won the coveted trophy are West Indies twice, Sri Lanka once, and Pakistan once.
The Indian team this time is confident, and a well-balanced one, led by none other than another legend in the making, Virat Kohli. Young, ambitious, and never-say-die Kohli, has many records to his credit and has led the Indian team to many convincing wins. He is undoubtedly looking to add another feather in his cap by bringing back the World Cup to India.
He has good support from an old warhorse, Dhoni in the team, and their combination has been a winning one in many ways. They have an excellent mutually respected understanding going, which has benefitted Team India in many ways. The Indian fans are hoping this combination, ably supported by the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Vijay Shankar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and the likes will turn it around for the team.
The Classic Contest
In many ways, for Indian fans, one of the “most awaited with bated breath” match of the World Cup always is the India Vs. Pakistan fixture. India has beaten Pakistan every single time that they have met in a World Cup till date -6 times. Usually, one of the most fiercely fought matches, for many Indians, this happens to be the most important match of all, and they root for the country with all their might. This time the India Vs. Pakistan match is scheduled for 16th Jun 2019 and is expected to go ahead, even though you may recall that there were boycott calls, following the Pulwama terror attack in India. In any case, this match, as well as the World Cup, promises to be a feast for the cricket lovers, and please mark the dates and make the most of it.
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