Punter tips India as WC favourite
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has tipped India and England as favourites to win the upcoming World Cup on current form but feels that his country also has a chance to defend the title it clinched in 2015. “Absolutely,” Ponting replied when asked if he thought Australia could win the World Cup. “India and England are probably the two standout teams right now, but if you add Warner and Smith back into that lineup then I think that team looks as strong as any,” the batting legend said.
Pakistan-australia ODIS in UAE
Australia have refused to any of the ODI series matches in Pakistan due to security concerns and the two teams will now compete in the World
Cup preparatory fivematch rubber in the
UAE. After much delay, the Pakistan Cricket Board on Sunday finally announced that the oneday series would be played entirely in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from March 22 to 31. “The PCB was optimistic that it will be able to convince Cricket Australia to send its side (to Pakistan) for some matches,” PCB’S director international cricket, Zakir Khan, said. “But we are disappointed for the enthusiastic and passionate cricket fans in Pakistan who will now have to wait for some more time before they can see the Australian cricket team live in action for the first time since 1998.”
Mortaza confident of success in NZ
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza is confident his team can break their drought in New Zealand during the upcoming series, even without their talismanic all-rounder Shakib-alhasan. Bangladesh’s only win in New Zealand came in 2015 when they beat Scotland by six wickets in a World Cup group match at Nelson. The ODI series starts in Napier on February 13. “It was already a big challenge. The loss of Shakib made it a bigger challenge,” Mashrafe told reporters before leaving for New Zealand on Sunday. “We have to play positively,” he said.