The Cricket World Cup, officially known as ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, is the premier international championship for One Day International (ODI) cricket. This tournament is conducted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) every four years and includes preliminary qualification rounds leading to a final competition. Widely recognized as one of the most-watched sporting events globally, the ICC considers it the “flagship event of the international cricket calendar.” The inaugural World Cup took place in England in June 1975, coming just four years after the inception of ODI cricket.
It’s important to mention that a Women’s Cricket World Cup had been held two years prior to the inaugural men’s tournament. In addition, there is a history of international cricket tournaments involving multiple teams dating back to as early as 1912 when a triangular tournament of Test matches was played, featuring Australia, England, and South Africa. The first three Men’s World Cups were hosted in England. However, starting from the 1987 tournament, hosting responsibilities have been shared among different countries through an informal rotation system, with fourteen ICC member nations having hosted at least one match in the tournament.
Defending champions England are set to face South Africa in the fourth match of the ICC World Cup 2023. Both teams are looking to bounce back after unexpected defeats to Afghanistan and the Netherlands, respectively. In the ODI format, England and South Africa have played against each other 66 times, with the Proteas holding a slight edge with 33 victories, while England has won 33 of those encounters. There have been five draws and one tied match. The playing XI for the match includes Quinton de Kock (c), Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Rassie van der Dussen, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, David Miller (v/c), Aiden Markram, Kagiso Rabada, Adil Rashid, and Marco Jansen. The Wankhede Stadium pitch has not yet been used in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, with the first match scheduled for today. However, the Wankhede pitch is renowned for favoring batsmen, and with power-hitters in both teams, the Saturday encounter is expected to result in a high-scoring game.
Mumbai is expected to have a warm and hazy day with temperatures reaching 37 degrees Celsius, 54% humidity, and winds blowing at 9 km/h, as per AccuWeather. Fortunately, there is little to no chance of rain in Mumbai today. Google Win Probability suggests a 56% chance of England emerging victorious in this crucial match at the Wankhede Stadium. According to CricTracker, England is likely to win, regardless of which team bats first. On the other hand, MyKhel suggests that South Africa may have a “slight advantage” over the world champions, possibly due to their explosive and in-form batting lineup.