In Brief

Shane Warne tips ‘hot favourites’ England to win the Cricket World Cup

Jos Buttler says ‘brave and smart cricket’ is the key to success and Test history will be made in the Ashes

Australian legend Shane Warne believes that England are the “hot favourites” to win the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup on home soil.

Starting on 30 May the World Cup will be held in England and Wales and features ten nations playing matches in the 50-over one-day international (ODI) format.

As the No.1 team on the ICC ODI rankings Eoin Morgan’s England will be confident going into the tournament.

Speaking to Sky Sports Warne said: “I think England go in as hot favourites. Just look at the way they’ve played their cricket over the last year and how they’re led by Eoin Morgan.

“Their style of play is really good - I really love watching them play one-day cricket. There’s so many X-factor players and match-winners in that side. If every player in that side fires, they’re going to be very, very tough team to beat.”

Bravery will be key

England star Jos Buttler says the team which plays “brave and smart cricket” will win the World Cup.

Buttler, who has an ODI batting average of 63.44 in the past year, said: “Getting to No.1 was a goal ahead of the World Cup. Now, it is about staying true to what we’re about and continually getting better and trusting that style, which will stand us in good stead at the World Cup.

“It won’t be a side that plays cautiously that wins the World Cup. Even in knockout games, it will be a side that plays some brave cricket and smart cricket. If we [England] are at a crossroads, we’ve been going down the positive route.”

Ashes to make Test history

The World Cup is not the only major cricket event taking place this year - the 2019 Ashes between England and Australia is also on the schedule.

The five-Test series starts at Edgbaston on 1 August and according to the BBC and The Guardian cricket history will be made.

It’s being reported that for the first time in 142 years of Test cricket the team shirts will feature the names and numbers of players.  

The BBC says: “The ICC wants to make players more easily identifiable to encourage greater engagement in Test cricket.”

Australia are the reigning Ashes holders having won 4-0 in the 2017-18 series.

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