DUBAI, UAE — The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed the schedule of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.
England will open the tournament at The Oval on 30 May when they will take on South Africa, while Australia will launch their title defence on 1 June against the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier champions Afghanistan in a day/night match in Bristol.
Reigning ICC Champions Trophy winners and former champions Pakistan will start their campaign against the ICC World Twenty20 winners and two-time former champions the West Indies at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on 31 May.
India, the 1983 and 2011 world champions who also won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 in England and Wales, will play their first match on 5 June against South Africa at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. Their feature match against traditional rivals Pakistan will be at Old Trafford in Manchester on 16 June.
Old Trafford in Manchester and Edgbaston in Birmingham will stage the two semi-finals on 9 and 11 July, while Lord’s will play host to a World Cup final for the fifth time, on 14 July. All these three matches will have reserve days.
Eleven world-class venues will be used in the 46-day tournament in which each side will play the other once in a single-league format with the top four sides after 45 matches progressing to the semi-finals.
ICC chief executive, David Richardson, said: “It’s always an exciting moment ahead of any major event to announce the schedule and for the ICC Cricket World Cup, it’s that extra special. Next summer fans around the world will be treated to compelling and competitive cricket as the best teams in the world go head to head in this round robin format for the right to be crowned World Champions.
West Indies captain Jason Holder has expressed resolve and optimism that his side not only wants to feature in another Lord’s final but also wants to lift the World Cup once again after the two-time former world champions’ schedule in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was confirmed.
“We want to be there at Lord’s in the final to lift the trophy – we believe we are good enough to win it,” said 26-year-old fast bowler, adding: “It is always great to play in a global event. As a young cricketer who set your sights on this kind of event and do something special for the Windies fans on the world stage.”
The West Indies, who won the first two tournaments when they were staged in England in 1975 and 1979, will only visit Lord’s if they reach the final as they have no matches scheduled in London.
Their opening two matches are at Trent Bridge in Nottingham against the 1992 world champions and reigning ICC Champions Trophy winners Pakistan on 31 May, and against defending champions Australia on 6 June.
They will then travel to Southampton where they will play South Africa and England on 10 and 14 June respectively at Hampshire Bowl, while their fifth match in the 10-team single-league tournament will be against Bangladesh on 17 June at the County Ground in Taunton.
Old Trafford, once the second home to the legendary Clive Lloyd, will be their venue for the next two matches against New Zealand and India on 22 and 27 June respectively.
Their penultimate round match will be against Sri Lanka at The Riverside in Chester-le-Street on 1 July, while the repeat of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier final against Afghanistan will take place on 4 July at Headingley, Leeds.
Holder, who has taken 106 wickets in 77 ODIs to date, said: “The World Cup is extremely special for us. As players and as a team it means everything. We have a great history and we won the first two editions, so the aim is to make it three in 2019.
“We took the qualifiers route to get to this World Cup, but that was a blessing in disguise as it brought us closer as a team and we grew as a unit during that tournament. For the World Cup, we will enter as underdogs but we believe in each other and know who and what we are playing for.”
Shai Hope, who will be looking forward to featuring in his maiden World Cup, said: “We have to make sure we play quality cricket and tick off the wins as best as we can. There is nothing that we can change (about the tournament format). We go out there and play the cricket, as long as we play and win, we will be in the semis.
“Me personally, it will be a great feeling (to win the World Cup). I’ve always wanted to win the World Cup, that is one of my biggest dreams. I’m sure I can also say that for the rest of the players in the team. There is a lot to look forward to.”
The West Indies’ schedule of 2019 World Cup matches:
31 May – v Pakistan, Trent Bridge (d)
6 June – v Australia, Trent Bridge (d)
10 June – v South Africa, Hampshire Bowl (d)
14 June – v England, Hampshire Bowl (d)
17 June – v Bangladesh, Taunton (d)
22 June – v New Zealand, Old Trafford (d/n)
27 June – v India, Old Trafford (d)
1 July – v Sri Lanka, The Riverside (d)
4 July – v Afghanistan, Headingley (d)
West Indies at the ICC Cricket World Cups:
• The Windies have a success rate of 58.57 percent, after having won 41 of their 71 matches. They have lost 29 matches, while one has been a no-result
• The Windies won the first two tournaments when they were staged in England in 1975 and 1979
• The Windies lost the 1983 final to India, featured in the semi-final of the 1996 event in the subcontinent and reached the quarter-finals in the 2011 and 2015 events
• The Windies qualified for the Super Eight stage of the 2007, but failed to clear the first round in the 1987, 1992, 1999 and 2003 tournaments