Pakistan`s former World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan said that this ICC cricket world cup is the most open one ever seen.
Imran said that the opening matches in the Feb 19-April 2 tournament being held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have described one thing that no team can be taken to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field.
He said, “This is perhaps the most wide open World Cup I have seen and after the results of the India and England match and the way Ireland upset England I don`t think there are any clear favorites.”
In the 36-year long history Ireland gave the biggest shock by casting a magical victory on England by three wickets on Wednesday in Bangalore, chasing 328 runs. Initially, England-India tied on the most exciting match.
He said, “The pitches in all three countries will support the batsmen more as the month progresses and it is very hot and humid at this time of the year. So you need to have maximum wicket-taking bowlers in your side to do well.”
He also pointed out to India’s bowling against England. He said, “Teams which don`t have variety and pure pace in their bowling and prefer to rely more on batting all-rounders are already facing problems.”
Imran added, “The century by Kevin O`Brian was one of the best one-day innings I have seen in my life. The Irish are a fighting unit and I don`t think you can rule them out of contention by any stretch of the imagination. Teams which have the mental strength to chase down 300 plus totals have to be respected.”
Talking in context of the long run, Imran said, “To me the real contests will start from the knockout stage. I think the International Cricket Council (ICC) need to rethink the format for future World Cups.”