Cricket World Cup - it's time!

7:30 am on 30 May 2019

The Cricket World Cup has returned to the home of the sport for its 12th edition.

England captain Eoin Morgan and India counterpart Virat Kohli chat prior to the start of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

England captain Eoin Morgan and India counterpart Virat Kohli chat prior to the start of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Photo: ICC Pool Images/Photosport

Over the next six weeks, the world's 10 best international teams will square off across England - and in Welsh capital Cardiff - before the tournament final at the sport's most famous ground - Lord's in London.

It's been two decades since English cricket fans have had the chance to cheer their side on in a home World Cup and if the overwhelming expectation comes to fruition - the Barmy Army will have plenty to cheer over the next six weeks.

England are the world's number one ranked 50 over team - and captain Eoin Morgan knows they have an upper hand they need to make the most of.

"It's called home advantage for a reason.

"We get to spend a lot of time in our own beds, we see a lot of our family and prepare like we have done for a number of years now.

"But England is a great place to come and play cricket you ask any of [the other captains] and any of their players, they love coming here and playing," Morgan said.

Many of the 11 venues being used for the fifth Cricket World Cup hosted in the UK are rich in history, and some of the most famous in the sport.

Adding to that are the English punters, known for their ability to make noise and appreciation of good cricket.

Whether that extends to star Australian pair David Warner and Steve Smith, recently returned after year-long bans for ball tampering, is doubtful.

However, Australia captain Aaron Finch says both players are capable of taking whatever comes their way.

"Once the World Cup gets underway, in particularly probably games against England, and then further on past this tournament with the Ashes, no doubt that the crowds will start to play a bit of a part.

"But that's expected, so personally and as an organization we've got things in place for that but [Warner and Smith's] input and output with their runs they've been making in the lead up to this tournament has been fantastic," Finch said.

no caption

David Warner and Steve Smith. Photo: Photosport

Another team who will get plenty of attention from those in the stands is India.

The second favourites have a fanatical following wherever they go.

Captain Virat Kohli says they are prepared for that pressure, and a real fight to lift the silverware on 15 July.

"There's always going to be a huge fan base for us anywhere we play in the world.

"England is probably, in their conditions, the most strong side at this tournament but all 10 teams are so well balanced and so strong.

"The fact that this is a tournament where we have to play every team once makes it all the more challenging and I see this as one of the most competitive World Cups that people are going to see," Kohli said.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead at the World Cup squad announcement.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

The other common prediction for the event is runs, and lots of them.

That's thanks to the increasing dominance of batsmen in white ball cricket and the number of batter friendly pitches in England.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead says, when it comes to his side anyway, that means people can also expect plenty of attack with the ball.

"Everyone's talking about it being a high scoring World Cup.

"If that's the case what it means to me is we have to find ways that we can bowl teams out. The teams that can do that will be probably most successful.

"High scoring only happens if you don't bowl teams out, so that's certainly something high on my agenda is how we manage to take 10 wickets."

Stead's other observation, a sizzling start to the British summer.

It's something that comes after just two out of 126 English county games between May and July last year were affected by rain.

A warm World Cup and a red hot chance for the hosts to finally reach the summit of the sport after 11 failed attempts.

Check out RNZ's dedicated Cricket World Cup page for all the latest news, interviews and analysis.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.