WEST INDIES, 1975
Your guess is as good as mine. Most of the teams have been playing a lot of one-day cricket and are very competitive. The crucial part of the tournament is naturally the final Super Six stage, but the group matches are going to be interesting as well. If one of the "weaker" sides can get a result, it could open things up a lot. On recent form alone, you would have to favour South Africa and Pakistan, but if Lara can regain his fitness, don't count the West Indies out. Either way, it promises to be very close.
That is a really difficult question. This World Cup is going to be very tight and fiercely contested. But being Australian, I would have to be biased and say we will win. I think the team have strength in depth and plenty of ability. Over the last 12 months, the likes of Adam Gilchrist with the bat, and Glenn McGrath with the ball have performed brilliantly on a regular basis. They would be in any world XI. Add good fitness and preparation to those players, and you have to say they look pretty awesome.
SIR TIM RICE
CAPTAIN, HEARTACHES CC
I would like to see an England v New Zealand final, but I have a feeling the West Indies will win it. One day games are often decided by one bloke coming good on the day and playing wonderfully. Apart from Lara, they have the odd player who could fire up and they are all hungry to prove themselves on the world stage. The fact is, though, that the winner will come from any one of eight teams. So anyone who says they know for sure who is going to win the cup, does not actually have a clue.
SKY CRICKET ANALYST
England, because the conditions will suit them and they have a point to prove. In May, the wickets are likely to be green and seam a bit, which should favour our bowlers and batsmen. They know the pitches: just look at Ian Austin against Kent [who got four wickets on Friday]. Also, England's recent form has been poor and they have been written off by many people, so they will be keen to prove their doubters wrong. Finally, the home advantage could be the decisive factor. It should make all the difference.
SRI LANKA COACH, 1996
South Africa or Australia. They have been constantly strong which, in a tournament that will require teams to sustain five weeks of very tough competition, will be the telling factor. Only the strongest team, with the strongest squad, can win. Though I think that the fielding will come into things too. I also think that England will be there or thereabouts. There will be a huge push for them and, historically, their one-day record in this country is pretty good. So I see no reason why they can't do it.
BBC CRICKET CORRESPONDENT
It's going to be the most open tournament of all-time. A month ago, after having watched Pakistan play some of the best one-day cricket I have ever seen, I would have said they were favourites. But now that their influential manager, Javed Miandad, has left in mysterious circumstances, I think it is less obvious. If it's an overcast and damp May-June, the competition is wide open. But if it's dry, hot and sunny, then the three favourites are Pakistan, South Africa and Australia.
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