The One-Day International (ODI) Cricket World Cup is set to start on 5 October in India. The opening match is a repeat of the 2019 World Cup final. That final was controversial, to say the least. The match ended in a tie after regular play and a super over. England was wrongly awarded an extra run after the ball deflected off the bat of Ben Stokes over the boundary rope. Technically, England should have received five runs instead of six, since the batsman had not crossed for the second run when the ball was thrown. England eventually won the match due to their higher boundary count.
The first ODI Cricket World Cup was hosted in 1975 in England, with the West Indies emerging as the victors. Dramatically, they have not qualified for this year’s World Cup after losing three consecutive qualifying matches. Since1975, Australia has been the most successful team, having won the trophy five times. India and the West Indies have won twice each.
The South African team, better known as the Proteas, has never won this elusive World Cup. The Proteas are generally known as being chokers, since they have great players but always bottle important matches. The Proteas have played in four semi-finals but have yet to progress to the final.
During the 2019 World Cup, they redeemed themselves after winning only three out of nine pool matches. This year, their opening pool match is against Sri Lanka on 7 October. Players to watch out for would certainly be Babar Azam of Pakistan, who is currently ranked as the number one ODI batter. The Proteas have three batters in the top 10, so hopefully, they will score many runs. Mohammed Siraj from India will certainly bowl some wickets off the pitch with his untamed pace, so keep an eye out when he bowls.
India is set to be a favourite at home, but this World Cup can potentially deliver some out-of-the-park matches. Cricket fans surely cannot wait!