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ICC World Cup 2019: Wasim Akram names the favourites to lift the title

Pakistan will begin their campaign in the World Cup against Windies on May 31.

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It’s still early days for the World Cup fever to build up but experts are already queuing up to reveal the name of their favourite team to win the title in the 12th edition of the tournament which will be held in England and Wales between May 30 and July 14. After the former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock backed India along with England as his favourites to win the trophy this year, Wasim Akram has followed suit.

The 52-year-old, who had won the man of the match award in the 1992 World Cup final and also led his country to the final in the 1999 edition in England to lose to Australia, felt India are firm favourites to emerge the champions this time. He also backed his own country saying that the Men in Green are right up there.

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You can never write off Pakistan

Penning a column for Times of India, the swing bowling legend said, “Among the teams that are involved in the cricket World Cup, Pakistan have always been an outfit that people loved to watch and follow. You can never write them off. India look firm favourites for me. New Zealand are the dark hoses, but Pakistan are right up there.”

Wasim Akram, who came down heavily on the Pakistan side after their poor performance in the Asia Cup last year during which they were hammered twice by arch-rivals, credited tournaments like Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the country’s cricket board for the resurgence of Pakistan cricket.

“I will give credit to the Pakistan Super League and our board for the resurgence of Pakistan cricket. We have a young side — apart from a Mohammad Hafeez and a Shoaib Malik, everyone is in their mid-20s. They are young, as well as experienced. The fielding also has improved,” he wrote in his column. Akram said that the five ODIs that Pakistan will play in England against the hosts will give them an ideal practice before the tournament kicks off on May 30.

Pakistan, who recently lost against South Africa in all three formats, will take on the Windies in their first match of the WC in Nottingham on May 31 and will face India on June 16 in Manchester.

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