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England to win the Cricket World Cup?

30 May 19 words: Nigel Cooke

You can’t miss the giant cricketer in the Old Market Square this week, apparently flattened by the Council House before he could bowl the ball he clutches. The Fan Zone in the Square promises more street sport than has been seen since the early days of the City of Football and more fun since the Winter Wonderland’s ice rink melted away.

The summer is here with the Cricket World Cup, mega in sporting terms. The Cricket World Cup hit Notts today with an expected TV audience of over 1 billion viewers, the world’s ten best teams and England the favourites to win.  

Many long-suffering England cricket fans believe that this will be England’s tournament. Cricket could actually be coming home. England have never before won the Cricket World Cup. We have been runners up three times and the last time it was played here (in 1999) we went out in the first round! But this time we are officially the number one ranked team in the world. England have steam rolled everyone in their matches to get here, including crushing the Pakistan team in their recent games in England. This gives us genuine optimism that it will be our year.

For the first time in some years Notts are not represented in the England Squad, which is littered with Yorkshiremen and other midlanders. England’s captain Eoin Morgan, was born in Ireland but is England qualified. He is a shrewd tactician, inspires his team and can score runs fast, by skilfully hitting the ball hard. Not as hard as the awesome batting power of Josh Butler. Butler destroys bowling attacks with his unstoppable hit sixes, while apparently being a nice bloke. Butler and Morgan between them have hit more than a staggering 300 sixes. England have added another player to look out for in Jofra Archer. He recently played his first England games and regularly bowls at 90mph, that is so fast that the hard ball can hit you before you have even seen it coming.

England do have quite a lot to fear. The current holders are Australia who are not going to give their crown up easily. They have a very talented team of big hitters, wily and fast bowlers and good tacticians. They may be even more dangerous as two of their best players return from a twelve month ban for cheating, changing the shape of the ball by rubbing sandpaper on it. David Warner and Steve Smith are natural born competitors and only play to win.

England’s first match is against South Africa, who have also never won the world cup and will want to put that right. England’s first game at Trent Bridge is against Pakistan, who beat them in the 1992 final.

It is worth watching out for Afghanistan who learnt to play cricket in the refugee camps. They probably won’t win the cup but they will be entertaining and they deserve to be here.  

So by the time you read this England will have played their first game, they may have won or lost, but it is a league with everyone playing each other which means that there is time for things to change. If you can’t get to the matches, then watch it on the TV or get to the fan zone in the OMS where you can watch the games on a giant screen, play the game and enjoy cricket, however you choose.

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