ICC Cricket World Cup

The Cricket World Cup 2015 is about to kick off.

The 2015 Cricket World Cup begins this month and the 11th edition of the tournament will offer the most betting markets ever witnessed within the sport. Here are some of the best bets for you to consider.

The Winner

As one of the two host nations, Australia are considered as the firm favourites to win this year’s competition. The majority of bookmakers are offering odds as low as 2/1 on Australia winning their fifth World Cup.

South Africa are listed as the firm second favourites at 3/1. The Proteas are the current number one ranked test nation in the world and Russell Domingo’s side will be looking to carry their test success into their one day performances.

Despite being ranked sixth in the world for one day internationals, joint host nation New Zealand have been priced as the 5/1 third favourites with bookmakers. Brendon McCullum will be hoping to build on his nation’s recent ODI series success against Pakistan and Sri Lanka with glory at this year’s tournament.

Other teams attracting strong attention on the betting circuit include current holders India at 9/1, three times runners up England at 9/1, 1996 champions Sri Lanka at 10/1, 1992 winners Pakistan at 14/1, and two times World Cup champions West Indies at 25/1.

Surprise Package

The 2011 Cricket World Cup was remembered for some shock results with England losing to Ireland by 3 wickets the undoubted biggest surprise of the tournament. This has left many dreaming of a tournament this year that will produce some upsets.

Bangladesh narrowly missed out on the quarter finals in 2011 on run rate to West Indies but they will be hoping to build on their recent ODI series win over Zimbabwe to push for the quarter finals this time round in Group A where they will be confident of finishing above Afghanistan and Scotland whilst hoping to shock one of the main test playing nations of Australia, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Ireland are another nation that will be looking to hit the headlines once again. Despite defeating England four years ago, the Irish failed to progress past the group stages. This year, Ireland will be looking to notch up wins against Group B minnows UAE and Zimbabwe before trying to gain an unlikely win against the struggling Pakistan. It will be a tough ask for them to earn wins against India, South Africa, and West Indies but they do have a track record of defying the odds on the big stage.

Top Batsman

This category is set to be the most hotly contested in recent memory with the quality of batsmen competing at the tournament higher than ever before. South Africa’s Hashim Amla is the current 8/1 favourite to finish the tournament as the highest scoring batsman. It was not that long ago that Amla was the fastest batsman ever to hit 10 centuries in one day internationals.

He is closely followed in the rankings by in-form Australian opener David Warner. Warner has courted controversy over the years but his recent performances have won him huge accolades across the board. Bookmakers are offering odds as low as 10/1 on Warner ending the tournament as the top scoring batsman.

South African talisman AB de Villiers has long been recognised as one of the world’s greatest one day batsmen and he will be determined to add the top scoring batsman at the 2015 Cricket World Cup to his list of achievements. Bookmakers are listing de Villiers at 12/1 and as the current record holder for the fastest 50 and 100 scores in one day international cricket he is a show stopper as well as a clinical batsman.

Some of the other batsmen being touted as potential top scoring batsmen in this upcoming World Cup include India’s Virat Kohli and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan, New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson, Australia’s Steve Smith, England’s Ian Bell, and West Indies’ Chris Gayle.

Top Bowler

The top bowler category for bowling is just as hard to call as the top batsman market. The top three ranked bowlers are averaging odds of 9/1 with bookmakers across the board with Australia’s explosive pairing of Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson along with South Africa’s paceman Dale Steyn attracting the most attention before the tournament has started.

Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga will be looking to use his ability of bowling yorkers and slower balls to not only restrict the opposition’s run rate but take some wickets in the process. He will also be looking to take inspiration from his country’s 2014 T20 World Cup win.

Other bowlers that will be keen to make an impact on this year’s tournament include South Africa’s Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir, England’s James Anderson, New Zealand’s Tim Southee, and Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi.

Player of the Tournament

The Player of the Tournament betting market is one of the toughest to predict at every Cricket World Cup. It takes the best batsmen, bowlers, and wicket keepers and puts them in one pool to compete for one award.

Previous winners of this prestigious award have included some of the game’s greatest names such as Martin Crowe, Sanath Jayasuriya, Lance Klusener, Sachin Tendulkar, Glenn McGrath, and Yuvraj Singh.

The favourites for the award at this year’s tournament include some of cricket’s biggest current names with the likes of David Warner, AB de Villiers, Mitchell Johnson, Brendon McCullum, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and Dale Steyn just some of the names tipped to win.

Other Markets

There are a number of other special markets available to bet on at the Cricket World Cup. Australia are being offered at 13/2 to go the entire tournament undefeated. Odds of 25/1 are being made available on any player at this World Cup beating the record for best figures achieved at a World Cup which currently stands at 7 wickets and 15 runs. The odds of a player scoring a century is 49 balls or less to hit the fastest World Cup century is priced at 10/11.

The 2015 Cricket World Cup is scheduled to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. It starts on 14th February, 2015 and will finish after 43 days of intense action with the final on 29th March, 2015.