INSTAGRAM | @cricketaustralia

THAT’S RIGHT, you’re not hallucinating. There really is another Cricket World Cup right around the corner. ‘But didn’t we just have one of those?’ You may ask, and the answer is simultaneously yes and no. This year’s tournament is not to be mistaken with another from last year, that was the T20 World Cup. Nor is it to be mistaken with the tournament where Australia emerged victorious in 2021. That was, again, the T20 World Cup. This Cricket World Cup is the One Day International (ODI) edition, and it hasn’t been played since 2019.

The changing dynamics of international cricket, and the sports’ unique split into three distinct formats, means that world cups are no quadrennial spectacle, but rather a fairly frequent occurrence. That doesn’t mean the stakes will be any lower when ten international teams collide in India over the next two months.

England are defending champions in a hotly contested field. The Poms won the last ODI World Cup courtesy of a controversial tiebreaker in the final against New Zealand, and the Kiwis will get their shot at revenge in the first match of the tournament.

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in answering all your most pressing questions, so let’s get into it.

When and where is the 2023 Cricket World Cup?

The 2023 Cricket World Cup will be the first to be solely hosted by India, previously serving as joint hosts with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on three separate occasions. The tournament’s 48 matches will be held in ten stadiums across India.

The World Cup will begin today, October 5th, with England facing New Zealand in the tournaments opening clash at 7:30PM AEDT. The World Cup will run for just under two months, with the final being played on November 19th.

What teams are playing at the Cricket World Cup?

Ten nations have qualified for the 2023 Cricket World Cup. There will be no complaints from nations feeling they’ve been particularly hard done by an unfavourable draw pitting them against superior competition, as the Cricket World Cup disregards the unpredictability of a draw in favour of a ten-nation supergroup.

The qualified nations are placed into a single group, where they will play each other nation once, for a total of nine games each. The top four teams at the conclusion of the group stage will advance to the semi-finals, and its win or go home from there.

Below you’ll find the nations contesting the group stage. The number beside each nation indicates their current world ranking.

Afghanistan (9)

Australia (3)

Bangladesh (8)

England (5)

India (1)

Netherlands (14)

New Zealand (6)

Pakistan (2)

South Africa (4)

Sri Lanka (7)

Notably absent from the list of teams is the West Indies, who have won the World Cup twice and have qualified for every edition until now. Another eye-catcher is the inclusion of the Netherlands, as the only team ranked outside of the top ten to qualify for the tournament. The Netherlands, who are ranked 14th, jumped ahead of a number of opponents on their path to qualification, and have quietly emerged as Europe’s second-best team.

Who are the favourites to win the Cricket World Cup?

It’s a case of the usual suspects when looking at the list of nations most likely to win the 2023 Cricket World Cup. India, England, and Australia are the leading contenders, in that order, and it’s difficult to see any other nation coming out on top. The big three are followed by Pakistan, New Zealand, and South Africa, who can absolutely cause some upsets, but will need luck on their side to make a deep run.

India, as hosts, and as the number-one ranked nation in world, are the obvious most likely candidates to win the World Cup. If the Indians find their form, the next six weeks of cricket could merely be a formality. With talent from top to bottom in the batting order, and an equally imposing lineup of bowlers, India’s only blemish is their poor record in knockout games.

Australia have an incredible record in ODI World Cups, winning four of the last six, most recently in 2015. However, opposing teams won’t be treating the Aussies with the respect a team with such an impressive résumé might be expected to command. The Australians have lost five of their last seven matches, including brutal defeats at the hands of India and South Africa. David Warner will top the batting order, as per usual, but with Travis Head out injured, who opens alongside him is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, Australia has one of the most talented squads at the world cup, and their only weakness is perhaps a lack of top-level spin-bowlers suited for the white-ball game.

It’s difficult to brandish a team that’s widely considered second-favourites as a dark horse or a wildcard, but we’re going to call England exactly that. The defending champions went into the last World Cup as overwhelming favourites and came out on top, but have since slipped in the world rankings all the way down to fifth. England’s squad is ageing quickly, and injuries are a concern, but the Poms have the experience—and more importantly, the talent—to go all the way.

Who are the players to watch at the Cricket World Cup?

Rashid Khan, superstar spin bowler and captain of Afghanistan, is quite simply one of the best cricketers in the world. Khan was named the T20 cricketer of the decade for the 2010s, and with a deadly right-arm leg break, can disrupt the batting order of any nation. While Afghanistan may not be a leading contender, with Khan’s assistance, they can certainly cause trouble.

David Warner is entering the twilight of his career, but he remains one of the world’s premier batsmen. Much of Australia’s World Cup hopes will lie on their August opener, and based on recent form, Warner may not be up for the challenge. But if his storied career tells us anything, it’s never to count him out. This World Cup could be Warner’s final chance at taking home some more hardware before retirement, adding another layer of interest.

India’s Virat Kohli is one of the most popular athletes in the world—the guy has 260 million Instagram followers, ten times the population of Australia, for reference. Where he goes, a spectacle, and swaths of adoring fans, typically follow. Expect nothing less than a dominant performance in this World Cup campaign, which, at 34 years of age, could be his last.

Babar Azam is ranked as the number one ODI batsmen in the world and captains a strong Pakistani team. Consistent, dependable, and exceptionally skilled, Azam has a higher ODI run average than even the legendary Virat Kohli. As a Pakistani captain in India, Azam will be feeling the pressure, and he’ll need to take things to another level for Pakistan to emerge victorious.

INSTAGRAM | @virat.kohli

How does net run rate work?

Have you ever wondered if the one thing sport was missing was maths? No? Well anyway, maths plays in integral role in ODI cricket, as it’s used to determine the Net Run Rate (NRR), which, as the primary tiebreaker, can decide the outcome of the group stage.

As simple as we can explain it, the net run rate is the average number of runs scored by a team per over, minus the average runs scored against them per over. In simple terms, you can think of the net run rate like a goal or points differential in other sports, as it serves a similar purpose as the primary tiebreaker when teams finish on equal points.

When do Australia play at the Cricket World Cup?

Game 1: Australia vs India, Sunday October 8th, 7:30PM AEDT

Game 2: Australia vs South Africa, Thursday October 12th, 7:30PM AEDT

Game 3: Australia vs Sri Lanka, Monday October 16th, 7:30PM AEDT

Game 4: Australia vs Pakistan, Friday October 20th, 7:30PM AEDT

Game 5: Australia vs Netherlands, Wednesday October 25th, 7:30PM AEDT

Game 6: Australia vs New Zealand, Saturday October 28th, 4:00PM AEDT

Game 7: Australia vs England, Saturday November 4th, 7:30PM AEDT

Game 8: Australia vs Afghanistan, Tuesday November 7th, 7:30PM AEDT

Game 9: Australia vs Bangladesh, Saturday November 11th, 4:00PM AEDT

Where can you watch the Cricket World Cup?

Every match from the 2023 Cricket World Cup will be broadcast on Fox Cricket and available for streaming on Kayo Sports. On free-to-air television, Channel 9 will be broadcasting all Australian matches, as well as a selection of other important matches.


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