Windies legend Brian Lara thinks CWC19 will be an ‘awesome experience’.
Brian Lara believes the passion for cricket in England and Wales will make for a ‘special’ ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019.
Lara, who played at the 1999 World Cup, and also spent time in England with Warwickshire, knows first-hand what the crowds are like in England and Wales.
“Playing in England is always very special, I played here in 1999 in the World Cup,” said Lara.
“You always feel there is a good opportunity you’ll get a good crowd, even if England aren’t playing, and especially for the West Indies. For me it is a wonderful feeling. World Cup tournaments are very special.
“England has been, for me, the centre of cricket. You can look at all the big nations now and say India are powerful, Australia second, but England is the home for cricket and most sports.
“It’s a melting pot of all nations from around the world. This is going to be a special one. I believe it’ll be an awesome experience for all ten nations.”
The Windies will maintain their ever-present record at the World Cup in 2019, following their progression through the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe earlier this year.
It was by no means easy for the two-time champions, and Lara, who is their record run-scorer at the Cricket World Cup, just wants his former side to give their best at CWC19.
“I’m happy the West Indies qualified, having to go through that qualification stage along with Afghanistan,” added Lara. “I’m not overbearing with my expectations, I just want us to play hard, honest cricket and in winning positions I’d like us to close things off and always give their very best.”
The Men’s Cricket World Cup has so far evaded hosts England. They’re currently the No. 1 ranked men’s ODI side, and are in fine form in white-ball cricket, but Lara knows anything can happen on the biggest stage of all.
“Australia and India were able to conquer being the home nation at the last two World Cups, I don’t know if England can do it but hopefully they can,” he said.
“They’re the number one ODI team in the world, you can’t write them off.
“I think they’ll get to the latter stages of the tournament, it gets to the stage where you have to make that one performance, be it in the semi-finals or the final.
“It’s eluded England in the past. They may have teams that are a little bit hungrier at the time and playing better cricket at the time, or teams might be improving at that moment, so it’s hard for me to say if they’re going to go all the way.”