Guyanese pick their Cricket World Cup favourites
Compiled by Akeem Greene and Avenash Ramzan
Which group of men will lift the Cricket World Cup 2019? That would be the trending question over the next six weeks as the 10 best ODI nations compete for global supremacy in England and Wales.
News Room Sport reached out to some Guyanese, who willingly shared their thoughts on who could most likely win the title.
Natisha Mokutnauth- University of Guyana student: “I have geared up the Windies colours that I’ll be sporting. While I acknowledge that the chances of them winning the World Cup is slim, Windies is known for their surprise element (for better or worse). I grew up watching and supporting the men in maroon and it is something I continue to go game after game, even if they continue to disappoint me. The game of cricket is unpredictable and never ends until the final ball is bowled. It is my far-fetched wish to see them play in the semis. We are all in this together. Rallying now and forever. I am just looking forward to see great cricket, lots of wickets tumbling and centuries making and any team (preferably Windies) raising the trophy- well except India.”
Berachah Garrett- Lieutenant, Guyana Defence Force: “The team that I will be supporting for the World Cup is no other that the West Indies. I must first say that this is not the initial team I would have assembled, but such is the repertoire of West Indian talent that they were chosen. West Indies have an extensive number of match-winners from Chris Gayle, [Evin] Lewis and [Shai] Hope, who fancy playing in English conditions, to young talents like [Nicholas] Pooran and [Shimron] Hetmyer. One person that will be most instrumental in bringing it home will be Andre Russell with both bat and ball. He can provide the breakthrough wicket in the middle overs with his bowling variations and allow Gabriel and company to finish off. Also, he can capitalise on any start with the bat.”
Devin Singh- Law student in England: “Based on the form of England in white ball cricket over the last three years I am inclined to favour them to win the World Cup. They have finally realised that adopting a conservative approach will not win them games. Firstly, England will be playing in home conditions and we all know what their recent records in the UK have been. Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Jos Butler and Eoin Morgan form one of the most brutal and formidable batting orders in the tournament. This group of batsmen have to potential to chase down extremely huge targets so on any given day in English conditions 350 may not be enough. Taking a quick look at the spin department, Adil Rashid is a quality spinner that will have the support of the more than dependable Moeen Ali. Liam Dawson was also recently included for his all-round skills so the spin department check box is surely ticked. The X factor is the calling-up of fast bowler Jofra Archer into their 15-man squad. Although Archer is a newbie in the team he should surely lead the attack along with Mark Wood. Perhaps this is the year English cricketers will have to ‘remember his name.”
Romario Samaroo- Sport Journalist, Stabroek News: “Australia for the win. I think Australia will retain their title at the 2019 World Cup. Right off the bat they’ve won it five times, which says a lot about their ability to turn up to big events, coupled with a 56%-win ratio in England and coming in on an eight-match winning streak. Looking at the batting line-up, the inclusion of Steve Smith and David Warner, one of whom I think will score the most runs in the tournament, is a big boost to the side after their one-year ban. Both players are hungry and have shown it with Smith’s century in the warm-ups and Warner’s Indian Premier League dominance. Also, with the likes of Glen Maxwell, Usman Khawaja and their captain, Aaron Finch, the batting line-up is solid to almost guarantee over 300 in every game. Their bowling is also one of the most deadly seam attack on the planet with Pat Cummins teaming up with Mitchel Starc and Kane Richardson, coupled with quality spinners such as Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa; they are right up there to trouble the best batsmen in the world.
I think Australia can pull it off, but with nine World Cup debutants it will be challenging and they will have to be wary of India and England.”
Delvon McEwan- Former Sport Journalist, Guyana Times: “Realistically, the World Cup favours England in all facets, in addition to home advantage, with India next in line. However, since the former seems to lack the tenacity to win major tournaments and the latter’s batsmen are yet to dominate in English condition, I favour the team in maroon. They’re in the top five to win the title, but their bowling will have to be more penetrative and consistent if they are to claim the title. They’ve also won all major tournaments in England as underdogs, that is, 50-over World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy. History favours Windies, but a lot depend on their bowling department.”
Cindya Khellawan- Cricket fanatic: “Forever rallying around the West Indies. Each team is uniquely competitive. However, I think India or England will lift the trophy on July 14. India have got a good balance and the England team is undoubtedly a strong unit.”
Adrian Welcome- Corporal: “I believe England will win this World Cup, reason being England is playing at home, they have the advantage and crowd support along with other support. The English conditions are very suited to the style of play the England players play; they will exploit it more than any team in this particular World Cup. In addition to that, this current England team is the strongest I’ve ever seen playing one-day cricket, consistently scoring over 350 runs. In closing, they have a brilliant fielding unit, which is always vital in any tournament. So yes, England.”
Uttamkumar Isurdeen- Cricket fanatic: “This 2019 World Cup is going to have surprises and some upsets, especially with the underestimated teams like Bangladesh and Afghanistan. I think defending champions Australia will win this World Cup again, because they have the full batting and bowling in order; everyone is well set. Given Steven Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc are back, they’re going to be dangerous in all ways. Australia have it to win this World Cup. My second team is New Zealand.”
Kwadjo Garnett – Night Club Manager: “West Indies because even though they don’t have the strongest team, I’m a loyal supporter and I strongly believe there will be an upset.”