AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — After combining to produce the most dramatic finish ever to a Cricket World Cup, England and New Zealand will meet again this time to open the 2023 edition in India.
England was awarded its first title four years ago at Lord’s on a contentious countback against the New Zealanders after the final finished tied and a so-called Super Over also failed to separate the teams.
The tiebreaker was a heavily-derided and subsequently dumped countback of boundaries, giving England the narrowest of victories as it hosted the pinnacle competition in cricket’s one-day format for the fifth time.
The defending champions and runners-up will get the six-week tournament started Thursday at the 134,000-seater Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. This same venue will host the highly-anticipated India-Pakistan showdown on Oct. 14 and the final on Nov. 19.
Top-ranked England arrived in India aiming to be just the third team — following West Indies (1975 and ‘79) and Australia (1999, 2003 and ’07) — to win back-to- back ODI World Cups.
Jos Buttler has taken over from 2019 skipper Eoin Morgan, but England’s attacking approach – high risk, high reward – remains the same.
Ben Stokes returned from his short-lived ODI retirement to rejoin the likes of Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes – all players who can play a multiple rules, thus allowing the batting to run deep.
England is coming off a series win over New Zealand at home last month, and a four-wicket win over Bangladesh in an unofficial warmup at Guwahati on Monday.“We had a valuable outing in terms of bowlers getting to bowl and some batters getting time in the middle,” Ali said after the win over Bangladesh. “We are ready. It’s going to be a massive game (against New Zealand) … They’re a dangerous side.”