The 10 captains pick their favourites to lift the World Cup trophy.
The captains gathered in London on Thursday for a mass press conference. The main takeaway from the event was that the 2019 World Cup will be ‘the most competitive tournament in history’.
All representatives had their say about the tournament and who will be favourites to make the final at Lord’s on 14 July. Starting with the England skipper, Eoin Morgan.
Morgan said: ‘I don’t think anyone is head and shoulders above anyone else.
‘These are the ten best teams in the world, it will be extraordinarily competitive and some quality cricket will be played so we are really looking forward to it.
‘Every captain sitting here would lose their left leg to play in a World Cup final at the home of cricket. It’s something every one of us would have dreamed of as a kid.
‘We are as best prepared as we can be. We just want to play that first game now.’
India skipper Virat Kohli added: ‘England in their conditions are the most strong side in this tournament.
‘But all the teams so strong and well balanced and the fact we have to play everyone once, I think this will be the most competitive World Cup that anyone will have seen.’
The defending champions’ skipper Aaron Finch believes that Steve Smith and David Warner’s return will give their side the edge: ‘Since Warner and Smith have come back into the set-up they have been fantastic and contributed so much. The morale has been unbelievable.
‘Once it gets underway, particularly against England, and further on for the Ashes, the crowd will play a part but that is expected everywhere in the world.
‘We have plans in place for that, and their squad input and output in terms of the runs they have been making has been fantastic.’
Faf du Plessis is confident that the Proteas’ lethal bowling attack will be key to a successful campaign: ‘We are all really excited to try out this new tournament, to play every once I think is great,’ he said.
‘The way we use our resources will be vital, but every team has X-factor bowlers that will have a big say in the successes of the side.
‘I think the bowlers will win it, the teams still in it towards the end of the tournament will be the teams that have done really well with the ball.’
Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed believes his side can repeat their Champions Trophy success: ‘All the teams are really balanced. I think people are going to watch some great cricket,’ he said.
‘Since winning the World Cup in 1992, making the final in 1999 here in England and the Champions Trophy in 2017, we go well in England so we are confident we will do well and challenge.’
New Zealand were runners up in 2015 and skipper Kane Williamson hopes his Black Caps side can go one better: ‘There are a few guys in the squad from the last World Cup which is great.
‘But four years in between means there are a lot of new players.
‘There has been a lot of talk about rankings, favourites, underdogs but what stands out is how balanced it is. Which means anything can happen on the day which is so exciting.’
The unpredictable Windies skipper Jason Holder gave his side a shot: ‘It’s a very exciting format. In the past, you could play five or six games, and that could be it.
‘To play every side is great for us. We worked hard with the qualifiers to get here, that means it is the top ten in the world, we want to play them all and give ourselves a shot.
‘The team that wins will definitely deserve it.’
Sri Lanka’s new captain Dimuth Karunaratne will be taking the ‘one game at a time’ approach: ‘We have great experience in England, we came here early to get used to the conditions and we are in good shape, hoping to do our best.
‘It is not going to be easy though. We are confident and taking it each game one by one.’
Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib added: ‘We are excited to be here, in front of the cricket world and to play the best teams.
‘To present Afghanistan to the world is great and we are looking forward to it.
‘There will be a huge audience at home in all the different provinces. Cricket is not just a sport now, in Afghanistan it has become something else.’
And finally Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza is confident his side can spring a surprise: ‘We have got a great bunch of boys, a good mix of seniors and juniors coming on.
‘Cricket is a game that anyone on their day can beat anybody. If we start well we can hang in there.
‘We are confident that we can go well, but a lot depends on the start.’
Photo: Supplied by ICC