ICC World Cup 2019: Brian Lara names his semi-finalists for the upcoming tournament
Lara opines England, West Indies and India might make it to World Cup semifinals.
Updated - Apr 20, 2019 5:38 pm
The 12th edition of ICC World Cup will be played in England and Wales from May 30 and almost every team has finalized their squads for the quadrennial event. The tournament will be played in a round robin league format seeing the 10 teams playing each other once, meaning that this is one of the most open tournaments in recent history.
Many former cricketers have been sharing their picks to win the tournament or at least make it to the final four for the semi-finals. England has been the pick of almost every cricket expert and since Australia will be defending their crown in England and Wales, the five-time champions are also considered strong contenders to romp home another title.
However, there have been some surprises and former West Indies captain Brian Lara has also revealed his favourites to win the tournament. Lara played in five World Cups- 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007, ending his career in the 2007 edition which was played in his home of West Indies. He recently, in a conversation with the Times of India, revealed his picks for the semi-finalists of the tournament.
Lara picks India and England as his favourites
During the conversation with Times of India, Brian Lara was asked to reveal his four choices for semi-final matches. “Normally, I’d like to make my choices after watching all teams play their first one or two games. But since you’re asking, well, England? Normally, I’d never risk backing them because they’ve never failed to lose that one important game (laughs). But this team looks good. So, them and India — two teams I believe will definitely be in the semifinals,” Lara was quoted as saying by Times of India.
England is hosting the tournament and have the home advantage. They are also ranked no.1 in the ICC ODI team rankings and have completely changed their game since their ouster from ICC World Cup in 2015, making the new world record team total of 481/6. India, on the other hand, is ranked two in the ICC rankings and recently won their maiden ODI series in South Africa and Australia and are the best team while chasing the target, thanks to the presence of likes of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, and Rohit Sharma.
“Can’t say the same about the rest of the teams. West Indies will have to play some consistent cricket. We’ve shown that we can beat England or India. We can beat any team on our day. But then we lose against a Bangladesh or an Afghanistan, and we let it all go away. So, that’s what the West Indies have to avoid. I would love to see them get to the semifinals,” Lara further said when asked to pick two more teams.