The cricketing world is set to witness yet another world event in cricket – the ICC World Cup 2019. The tournament will begin on 30th of May and will end with a finale on the iconic Lords ground on 14th of July with a reserved day. The ICC has decided to keep this a 10-team tournament (England, Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and West Indies). Sadly, this means no associate nations will get to a part of the biggest cricket event.
The Group-Stage matches feature a round-robin fixture style among the ten teams, and the top four nations then move to the semi-final stage. The last time a World Cup used a similar format was in 1992 which was won by Pakistan.
2019 will be the fifth time that England is hosting the World Cup. The previous four times were 1975, 1979, 1983, and 1999, with the first two editions won by West Indies, whereas India upset them in 1983 World Cup. In 1999, it was Australia that lifted the trophy defeating Pakistan.
Up until 2011 no other team had won the World Cup on home soil, however, in 2011 India won at home and in 2015 Australia did the same winning the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It will be interesting to see if England can continue this trend as they are entering the tournament as favorites and the number one ranked side. India, Australia, and South Africa are favorites to reach the semi-finals, but New Zealand and Pakistan could stand in their way to make for an interesting cricket World Cup 2019.
Check out our preview of each team to help you with your ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Betting!
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Expert prediction: England is one of the top contenders for the trophy not only because they are the hosts, but also due to their team’s constitution. Betting on them would be a natural choice as our expert predicts England to win or at least reach the final.
England has been the best ODI side over the past two years hands down, and their current batch of players also seems to be England’s best ODI team for a long time, and it's no wonder the world is predicting England’s first ODI World Cup trophy this year. Eoin Morgan will be leading the team and has a real chance to go all the way. England has won eight of the last ten bilateral series they have played over the last two years and drew one series in the West Indies. More importantly, five of those series wins were away from home which included Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. During this period they thrashed Australia 5-0 at home and 4-1 in Australia. They also defeated strong ODI outfits like India and South Africa 2-1 at home in the same period. However, a recent tour of West Indies, where they had to settle for a 2-2 result, must have woken them up.
England’s ODI squad look balanced, and batting depth has been their key strength in recent years with the likes of Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett. At the top Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow look solid. Root at no.3 along with Morgan, Jos Buttler, and Ben Stokes form a formidable middle order. Add to that Moeen Ali, Plunkett, and Curran, and you are looking at a never ending batting lineup.
The English Selectors have deferred the question of whether Jofra Archer, who is eligible for England selection, will be in the squad or not. Archer, along with Chris Jordan, will play in the warm-up series against Pakistan and might make last minute entry into the England World Cup. All in all, with their squad strength, including the ones waiting, England are a complete package and this, according to many, is their best chance to lift the coveted trophy.
Expert prediction: India has a very good batting line-up as well as a strong bowling unit. With the experience of 2011 World Cup winning captain MS Dhoni and with the robust batting department led by the skipper Kohli, we predict them to reach the final. Placing a bet on India is highly recommended by our cricket betting experts.
India enters the World Cup 2019 as one of the favorites to win. They are the #2-ranked team currently and have been in phenomenal form for the last couple of years. Led by the #1-ranked and arguably the best ODI batsman in the world, Virat Kohli, India will start their campaign on June 5 against South Africa at Hampshire Bowl, Southampton.
The last two years have been phenomenal for India, where they have won nine out of the ten bilateral series. India also won the Asia Cup played in September 2018. They reached the finals of the 2017 ICC Champions trophy but lost to Pakistan. A loss that probably still haunts them. Six of these nine away wins have come playing away from home in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, and West Indies. However, India will enter the World Cup without playing any ODI cricket since their eye-opening home series loss against Australia, due to the fact the Indian Premier League did not allow the Indian team to play more ODIs.
The 15-man squad selected by the captain Virat Kohli and the five-person selection panel look balanced. One of the questions the selectors were searching for the last two years was who will play at number 4 for India. After giving ample opportunities to Ambati Rayudu, and despite him playing very well, the team management went in favor of Vijay Shankar. Another decision was to include KL Rahul in the squad who has played very few ODIs this year. One of Shankar or Rahul will bat at four.
Dinesh Karthik was preferred over Rishabh Pant for the role of the backup wicket-keeper and the finisher. Many feel Pant deserved a chance, but the team balance does not allow it as MS Dhoni is in good shape and keeping better than ever. Karthik’s finishing abilities in the recent past worked in his favor. All in all, India looks a balanced team and correctly one of the favorites to win.
Expert Prediction: South Africa looks determined to win the alluring trophy this time. The team is a mix of experience and youth. Betting on South Africa is going to be a very good choice in most of the matches as our experts reckon they would reach at least till the semi-finals, if not the final.
South Africa enters the World Cup with a lot of promise, but they know they have some issues to resolve. Their success in this tournament will depend on how their middle order fare against the spinners of the opposition. South Africa will start their campaign against Bangladesh on June 2 at The Oval.
South Africa played a total of 36 ODIs in the last two years including the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Out of the eight bilateral series they played during this period, South Africa won six of them. Two out of the eight series wins were away from home, in Australia (2-1) and Sri Lanka (3-2). India mauled them at home in early 2018 winning five of the six matches in the series. The defeats were very comprehensive and highlighted the lack of spin playing abilities in the South African rank. Despite Sri Lanka being a shadow of their former selves, South Africa managed to win the series by a margin of 3-2. The Champions Trophy, however, was a forgettable experience with a couple of losses in three matches.
Hashim Amla finds a place in the squad despite speculation around his form, with Reeza Hendricks out of the tournament after Aiden Markram was selected in the 15-man squad as a top-order player. Faf du Plessis will captain the side with only one specialist keeper in Quinton de Kock. Dale Steyn is back in the squad, and Kagiso Rabada is in superb form. Add to the new sensation Lungi Ngidi and South Africa look to have covered all the bases in fast bowling options. Imran Tahir will have Tabraiz Shamsi for the company should South Africa choose to play two spinners. Andile Phehlukwayo will be the sole all-rounder in a squad that looks balanced provided the few injury prone players manage to stay fit.
Expert prediction: The 2015 finalists hold a good rank in the ICC’s ODI table, but they lack the enthusiasm to defeat the big sides. The expert’s prediction is New Zealand can reach the semi-finals. Betting on them, especially against the teams ranking below them, won’t be a bad option.
New Zealand has been the third best team in terms of win-loss ratio in the last two years, which resulted in them being the #4-ranked team currently in ODIs. New Zealand is also one of the fittest cricket teams in the world. The Kiwis will begin their campaign on June 1 against Sri Lanka at Cardiff. With the current form they are in, just like the color of their kit, New Zealand could prove to be the World Cup 2019 dark horses.
New Zealand has played 37 ODIs in the last two years winning 22 of them with two matches yielding no result. Out of the eight bilateral ODI series played in the last two years, New Zealand has won four and drawn one against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. The three series defeats were against a higher ranked team such as India (2 series defeats) and England (1 series defeat). In the meantime, they had a horrible ICC Champions Trophy where they won nothing but recently won the tri-series that included lower ranked teams like Bangladesh and Ireland. New Zealand did not play much away from home in the last two years, but when they did, India took the victory back in October 2017 by a margin of 1-2.
Tom Blundell’s inclusion in the 15-player squad raised quite a few questions. He is uncapped in ODIs, and as per the selection committee, he has been selected as the backup wicket-keeper for Tom Latham who is a great form batting wise. Unless Latham is unfit, Blundell is unlikely to get a game. The Ken Williamson led side will feature Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, and Latham along with their captain at the top of the order. Boult, Southee, Neesham will lead the pace attack with Santner as the spinner. Ish Sodhi was selected ahead of Todd Astle as the second spinner. New Zealand looks ready to rattle some camps in the World Cup.
Expert prediction: Australia is strengthened with the return of Steven Smith and David Warner, and the team could do much better than their previous years' records. Despite their recent form, our experts' view is that Australia could reach the final and not placing a bet on the five-time champions would be a foolish choice.
Australia hasn’t had many good days in ODI cricket over the last two years. The suspension of David Warner and Steven Smith impacted their ODI record severely, but they are peaking at the right time, and now that Smith and Warner are back to action, they should feel more confident and can push for the glory despite an abysmal recent ODI record.
The Aussies played 34 ODIs in the last two years winning just 12 of them. They played seven ODI series in this period and won only two. The two wins both came away from home – one against Pakistan in the UAE where they won 5-0 convincingly. However, the Aussies failed to win a single series at home losing three against South Africa (1-2), India (1-2) and England (1-4). Australia was also unable to make an impact in the ICC Champions Trophy, as well as a couple of other matches, yielded no result.
The recent unlikely series victory against India must have boosted their confidence, and with Smith and Warner back Australia can hope for a better show in the World Cup. Inclusion of the two veterans meant Peter Handscomb had to lose his place in the side. Usman Khawaja showed promise in the recent India series and got to keep his place at the top of the order. The Aussies have many fast bowling options which cost Josh Hazlewood his place in the squad, with Starc, Cummins, and Coulter-Nile the mainstay in the bowling department. Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa can play as spinners but are unlikely to get a game with both of them in it. Captain Aaron Finch will hope for better in their quest of the coveted trophy.
Expert Prediction: Bangladesh possesses some very good batsmen and bowlers to upset big teams, but the tournament format makes less likely for them to reach the knock-out rounds as per the experts. Betting on Bangladesh against teams like Sri Lanka, West Indies or Afghanistan would be a safe option.
Pakistan is scheduled to play their opening match of the World Cup against the West Indies on Friday, May 31 in Nottingham. Pakistan is known for its unpredictability. Though they are #6-ranked in the ICC table and carry just 48% of winning figures, they can make any team shudder, on any given day. Pakistan shaped a famous victory in the Champions Trophy 2017 against their archrival and then-tournament-favorite India, to lift the trophy.
Apart from ICC trophy, Pakistan has two 5-0 series ODI wins, one against Sri Lanka in UAE during October 2017 and another in Zimbabwe during July 2018. Against New Zealand, they managed to draw the ODI series 1-1. They had a better outing in South Africa and could have clinched the ODI series, but eventually lost it 2-3 after losing the final match. They also could have done much better in the Australia series which they lost 0-5, despite a few terrific individual performances.
The batsmen are consistently putting up good scores on the board, and their bowlers are high-quality too, but they need a striker like Mohammad Amir, who is not included in the squad, to complete the package. Amir’s contribution was remarkable in Pakistan’s triumph in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The selectors must be observing his performance in the ongoing ODI series in England, and there is a possibility of his entry in the squad. Along with Amir, left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari and the power-hitter Asif Ali have also missed out. Unfortunately, Mohammad Rizwan was left out despite hitting two centuries against Australia as the captain Sarfraz Ahmed is always Pakistan’s first choice for the wicket-keeper.
Pakistan has played a lot of cricket in England in recent time which should benefit the team at the World Cup. The exposure and the experience on English soil would help the batsmen and bowlers equally, and it could be the most significant opportunity for players like Mohammad Amir to impress the selectors. The players have also publically praised the encouragement from Pakistan’s Prime Minister and 1992 World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan, which has been a boost to morale.
Expert Prediction: With such strong payers in their line-up betting on RCB might prove to be the most winning bet you can place! Our prediction is a good chance for Final four for RCB!
Bangladesh’s first match in the World Cup is against the South Africans on June 2 at the Oval. With many experienced players, this is believed to be Bangladesh’s most reliable World Cup team that they have ever had, under the captaincy of Mashrafe Mortaza who could be playing his last World Cup. The team evolved quite well in the past few years in all the departments shedding the image of the team to be taken lightly.
In the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, they beat teams like England, Afghanistan, and Scotland. In the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, they reached the semi-final after beating New Zealand. In September 2018, they reached the Asia Cup Final and almost surprised India, but eventually, lost by three wickets in a low scoring match. In the last two years, Bangladesh they have won three ODI Series out of nine. Two came against West Indies, and one against Zimbabwe. They have a very good chance of clinching the ongoing tri-series against West Indies.
Surprisingly, Bangladesh selectors skipped the inclusion of the experienced Taskin Ahmed and Shafiul Islam for now but included uncapped ODI player Abu Jayed based on his swing-bowl skills. Overall, the squad looks quite balanced with the bat as well as the ball. They have a sturdy opening batsmen pair of Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar, and Shakib Al Hasan as a probable number three makes the batting order robust against any bowling attack. 2019 will be the fourth World Cup appearance for the wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim and going by the past 12 months’ record, he is Bangladesh's top scorer with 706 runs in last 18 innings, followed by Tamim Iqbal with 522 runs in his previous 11 innings, with the average of 65.25. Mustafizur Rahman is the key bowler as he has taken 28 wickets in past 17 innings and the skipper Mortaza has 24 wickets in past 19 innings.
Expert Prediction: West Indies are struggling in the ODIs even against the teams like Bangladesh. With Chris Gayle, they could perform better, but our experts predict that that West Indies may not reach the semi-finals stage so betting on them against higher ranked teams may not be fruitful.
West Indies will start their World Cup campaign with the match against #6-ranked Pakistan on May 31 at Trent Bridge. As part of the preparation for the big event, West Indies are playing the tri-nation series, against the co-hosts Ireland as well as Bangladesh. Star players Chris Gayle and Andre Russell got their World Cup place while Evin Lewis is included at the expense of John Campbell. Lewis or Sunil Ambris may open with the vice-captain and the big-hitter Gayle who is all set the break Brian Lara's record of most runs for West Indies ever.
Some big names like all-rounder Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine are missing in the squad, but it is not surprising as both played their last ODI in 2016. Also, Narine not particularly fit to bowl ten overs due to his injury issues, and because the Windies youngsters have shined recently in the IPL - Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer - they are included.
West Indies have been struggling to win an ODI series since their triumph against Bangladesh in 2014. Recently when England visited the Caribbean, West Indies played well and managed to draw the series 2-2. Player of the Series Gayle was the top scorer with 424 runs including two centuries and two half-centuries. Shai Hope has been phenomenal, with 1066 runs in the past 18 innings. Shimron Hetmyer has also been impressive with 627 runs in last 15 innings. Oshane Thomas has shown top form with 15 wickets in last eight innings.
Right now, the West Indies batting order relies too much on players like Gayle, and the other batsmen need to share responsibilities to fill the void when Gayle fails. Also, their inconsistent bowlers conceded over 400 runs in the fourth ODI against England, but in the fifth ODI, they restricted England to 113. Jason Holder is the key all-rounder to provide the required team balance, but overall West Indies need to repress their erratic performances in the World Cup.
Expert Prediction: With a new skipper right before the tournament, and the lack of prominent batsmen means Sri Lanka is not likely to defeat major teams to reach the top-four. Our experts predict that they won’t be able to advance to the knock-out rounds and the betting odds are not in favor of Sri Lanka against most of the higher ranked teams.
Sri Lanka’s first World Cup match is on June 1 against New Zealand at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. The squad announcement caught quite a few eyeballs as Niroshan Dickwella and Akila Dananjaya are left out despite playing in Sri Lanka's recent ODI series in South Africa. Dickwella's exclusion is due to his declining form, while Akila has not been effective in remodeling his bowling action, with Dhananjaya de Silva seemingly the better alternative off-spinner to the selectors. Siriwardana's presence in the squad is also surprising, but the selectors wanted someone at number 6 who could also bowl Kasun Rajitha is named as one of four standby players, alongside Wanindu Hasaranga, Oshada Fernando and Angelo Perera. Dimuth Karunaratne, who has not played ODI for quite some time, has been asked to captain the side considering his leadership that produced the Test series win in South Africa.
Sri Lanka managed just one win in the past 11 ODI series, in a Tri-Nation series with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Also, they faced a clean sweep in their last two series against New Zealand and South Africa. They won just ten matches out of past 46 ODI matches and only one in the last 15 matches. That explains their ICC ranking below Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Indies.
Thisara Perera is the key player for Sri Lanka whose contribution with the bat and the ball is significant. He scored more than 500 runs in the past 12 months with an average of 33 and bagged 20 wickets in last 17 matches. Sri Lanka's legendary bowler Lasith Malinga has taken 21 wickets in last 14 matches, and his performance could turn any match. The team, especially the batting unit, is still not fully developed after the exit of Kumar Sangakkara. The batsmen, especially the top order, have not put up enough scores recently. Sri Lanka desperately needs improvement in this department to win the big matches in the World Cup.
Expert Prediction: Afghanistan is well deserved to participate in the World Cup among the other full members. Though their chances of reaching the semi-final stage are bleak, our experts believe they hold the key required to defeat teams like West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Betting on Afghanistan against other teams may yield undesirable outcome.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board startled everyone when they announced their decision to remove Asghar Afghan from the captaincy role and appoint Gulbadin Naib in his place. In the last four years, Afghan was quite successful, and the decision to replace him just before the World Cup has not gone well down with the likes of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi openly criticizing the decision. Four players from Afghanistan's last ODI squad against Ireland are dropped based on performance and fitness. These are spinner Zahir Khan, the fast bowlers Shapoor Zadran and Fareed Ahmad, and the top-order batsman Javed Ahmadi. Hamid Hassan, the fast bowler who last featured in an ODI in June 2016, has been included in the squad to strengthen the pace attack.
Afghanistan created history by winning their first test match in March 2019 against Ireland, and their place in the ICC World Cup 2019 is very much deserved. In the past four years, Afghanistan has played 13 bilateral ODI series, and they have won eight and drawn three, losing only to Bangladesh and Ireland. Even their West Indies tour was an achievement as the ODI series ended in the 1-1 draw. In the 2018 Asia Cup, they defeated teams like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to reach the Super Four round.
In last 12 months, Hashmatullah Shahidi scored 484 runs in 12 innings with the average of 53.77. Rahmat Shah has 438 runs from past 14 innings while Asghar Afghan made 427 runs in previous 13 innings with an average of 42.70. Rashid Khan has bagged 23 wickets in last 12 matches with an average of 17.60. Aftab Alam collected 17 wickets in past ten innings, and the off-breaker Mujeeb Ur Rahman has got 16 wickets from 12 innings with the average of 23.56. Overall, the team’s batting and bowling departments look well balanced. The bowlers, like Rashid, Nabi, or Mujeeb, can trouble any batsmen in the world.
The hosts England are favorites to win the World Cup. They bat deep, they have an excellent record at home in the last two years, and they have cunning bowlers to back-up their claim. India has a balanced side with multiple ODI match-winners in their ranks. Australia has peaked at the right time, and the timely return of Warner and Smith could prove to be hugely beneficial. New Zealand and South Africa have balanced sides as well. Sri Lanka does not look settled, but Pakistan and West Indies could prove to be the dark horses. Afghanistan and Bangladesh may not get too far in the tournament, but they can, on their day, defeat any top team.
It will be difficult to predict the top four after the round-robin stage of the tournament. There could be an upset, a timely or untimely washout or a bad day in the field could change the odds. Let’s gear up for the greatest cricketing extravaganza that is the ICC World Cup.
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