In 2019, England will host the Cricket World Cup for the first time since 1999, a tournament in which an imperious Australian side firmly marked their era of dominance by brushing aside Pakistan in the final. In next year’s edition, a revised format in which all ten teams will play each other once before entering a knockout stage means there will be a range of impressive fixtures on display for followers. While tickets are likely to be hard to come by, here’s our top 5 to get your hands on:
England vs South Africa @ The Oval – The opening game of the World Cup, and absolute cracker at that. England go into the World Cup as likely favourites and with an expectant crowd behind them, the pressure is likely to be on from ball 1. England will be hoping to avoid a start similar to when they hosted the T20 World Cup in 2009, succumbing to the Netherlands in embarrassing fashion.
Australia vs. Pakistan @ Taunton – A repeat of the 1999 final, and two teams that represent great unknowns in this tournament. Pakistan’s form varies greatly, although their 2017 ICC Champions Trophy success in England will provide them with confidence. As for Australia, they remain unconvincing in the white ball format and the ongoing revamp of their side following the ball tampering scandal means the make up of their squad, let alone their chances, remain unpredictable. If that’s not enough, it’s being played at Taunton, one of the smallest grounds in the tournament and a batsman’s paradise – expect fireworks.
England vs. India @ Lords – Virat Kohli has cemented himself as one of cricket’s all time greats across all formats in recent years, but now has the opportunity to lead his side to World Cup glory on foreign soil. What better way to prove their ambition than by beating the hosts at the spiritual home of cricket?
India vs. Pakistan @ Old Trafford – Two of cricket’s greatest rivals, two of the best supported sides and a ground known for its raucous atmosphere. Any match between those two sides promises to be electric, and with games under the belt going in to this fixture, both sides will be hoping to be hitting full speed in this highly anticipated meeting.
Australia vs. South Africa @ Old Trafford – Who can forget the famous Alan Donald run-out in the semi final of 1999? If this game can provide half the excitement of that thriller, fans are in for a treat. A day night game always seems to bring the best out the crowds in the UK, and with this being the last game of the group stage, permutations could be high.