Cricket World Cup 2011 is upon us. Like in other sports, World Cup is the major tournament in cricket. A total of 14 teams will take part in this spectacular and extravagant tournament. Half of these teams can be simply ruled out as mere participants in the tournament and at their best can cause a few upsets. The other half constitute the teams with capability to go all the way and win the coveted title.
Often it happened throughout the history of the Cricket World Cup that one of the team was head and shoulder above the rest. The first two editions of the World Cup entirely belonged to the West Indies even though Australia was also a capable team in those times. West Indies was a clear favorite to win the third edition of the World Cup held in 1983, which was eventually won by unfancied Indian team. It was one of the most unpredictable result in the history of the game. 1987 World Cup saw balance of strenght across teams like West Indies, Pakistan, Australia, India, and England with Pakistan and West Indies favorites to win, but relatively unfancied Australian pulled a narrow win against Pakistan in Semi-Final and then went on to win the trophy. 1992 World Cup saw the favorites of 1987 Pakistan clinch their first title. The 1992 edition was one of the most open edition of the World Cup with a very little to differentiate between various teams participating in the tournament. 1996 edition saw another Asian cricketing nation open their account at the major event. Sri Lanka emerged winner in 1996 World Cup. Since then it has been Australia all the way as they have won all the subsequent editions of 1999, 2003, and 2007 and have most number of World Cup trophies to their credit. Like West Indies in the first three editions, Australia was the dominant in the last three editions of the World Cup.
Australia has won the trophy four times followed by West Indies, which has won the trophy twice, and the Asian countries India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have all won once each.
The forthcoming 2011 edition of the World Cup is the most open tournament after the 1992 World Cup. Excluding the minnows, each team is capable of winning the tournament. As many as seven to eight teams have the capability to go all the way. Out of these eight teams, four teams are my favorites to win this edition of the World Cup. These four teams are Australia, India, Pakistan, and South Africa.
My picks for the semifinals are India, South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan. One of these four teams will win the World Cup 2011. I anticipate a Final between India and Pakistan or Australia and Pakistan or a final involving any of the two teams form four teams, India, Pakistan, Australia, and South Africa.