Cricket heading into exciting period in England

Joe Root Tom Curran ODI 2018 PA

It is fair to say that there is plenty to look forward to in English cricket in both the Test and shortened versions of the game over the next few years.

The 2019 World Cup takes centre stage from May to July, with ten of the world’s top nations battling to lift the prestigious trophy.

The start of the next cycle of the World Test Championship and the inaugural running of The Hundred league are also sure to keep fans enthralled. Read on as we look at the three competitions.

England aiming to break World Cup duck

Despite hosting the World Cup on four previous occasions, England have never won the tournament and will be eager to put that right this time around.

England have finished as runners-up three times, but they were knocked out at the group stage when the World Cup was last staged in 2015.

Their current first-place standing in the ICC ODI rankings means England cricket betting odds are as short as 2/1 in the outright market to win the competition.

They have developed into one of the best ODI nations in the world, although defeats against West India earlier this year shows that they are not unbeatable.

The likes of India and Australia will be the biggest threat to England’s hopes of glory on home soil, while opening day opponents South Africa should also not be underestimated.

World Test Championship offers something new

The World Test Championship is the ICC’s eagerly anticipated league competition for Test cricket and will hopefully ramp up interest in the five-day version of the game.

The league phase of the inaugural edition featuring nine countries is scheduled to be played between July 2019 and March 2021, after which the top two teams will contest a final.

England, Australia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies will each play three series home and away.

India remain the team to beat at Test level and England will certainly need to up their game if they are to challenge for a place in the final.

They lost 2-1 against West Indies in the early part of 2019 and it’s difficult to imagine them improving enough to claim a top two spot in the Test Championship.

The Hundred still shrouded in mystery

The introduction of the new 100-ball competition has caused plenty of controversy, with many pundits questioning its purpose.

India captain Virat Kohli insisted that another form of the game wasn’t necessary, while the Professional Cricketers’ Association expressed its unhappiness with The Hundred last May.

However, with the likes of AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle saying they would be happy to be drafted to play in The Hundred, the format could be a huge success.

Former England captain has also given his backing to the competition, saying it will attract a completely new family-oriented audience to cricket.

Eight new city-based teams are scheduled to play in the competition over a five-week period during the summer of 2020.