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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North chapter.

The most anticipated format of the cricket tournament is back after four years! The International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s One Day International (ODI) World Cup 2023 which started on October 5, 2023, has stirred unwavering enthusiasm among cricket fans after a long wait since 2019. I vividly remember the thrill and exuberance of the fans back then, right from the inaugural match to the finals. This time, the icing on the cake for Indian cricket enthusiasts is it being hosted by India as the last time the country hosted one was in 2011.

The ODI or One Day International Cricket Tournament happens every five years. This time, along with India, seven more countries have directly qualified for the World Cup because of their consistent performance in the last five years. The remaining two, that is Sri Lanka and the Netherlands, sealed their place after playing in the qualifying rounds with some other countries. Hence, a total of ten teams have qualified for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023. This year’s tournament is historic because of two notable events. Firstly, fans couldn’t foresee West Indies not qualifying which stupefied them given the legendary track record of the team in the past World Cups. Secondly, after years of poor luck, the Netherlands is finally set to make a comeback after the Cricket World Cup of 2011.

The inaugural match was held between England and New Zealand on October 5, 2023. It was one of the most anticipated matches in the entire World Cup fixture. The last time these two played against each other was during the finals of the ODI World Cup of 2019 where they showed the world that there can be instances where both teams are equally worthy of being winners. The match was a draw, the super over got tied and the only way the winner was selected was based on the boundary count-back rule, having scored 26 boundaries against New Zealand’s 17. As a result, England emerged lucky and victorious.

I don’t think it’s arrogance to say we’re a very good team. We’re in the mix.

Ben Stokes, Captain of England Test team

Hence this time, people anticipated a neck-to-neck fight between them. But New Zealand turned the tables by chasing a target of 283 runs within the 37th over with the remaining 9 wickets. This shows that New Zealand is ready for the upcoming showdown and they are here to reclaim what they lost in 2019.

Hence, as a cricket geek, here’s me attempting to add to the ongoing wave of the cricket season by droughting down a listicle of the top five nail-biting matches one must look forward to this World Cup!

1. BANGLADESH VS AFGHANISTAN (7th October 2023; Dharamshala; 10:30 IST):

Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan are the underdogs of international cricket. While Team Bangladesh has previously managed to upset some big opponents like India and Australia, Team Afghanistan has always gained immense love and appreciation for their exceptional talent and fearless attitude. This will be the maiden match of both of them in the tournament. Do watch out the game for the enthralling contest between two of the best spin bowlers in the world, Shakib Al Hasan from Bangladesh and Rashid Khan from Afghanistan.

2. PAKISTAN VS SRILANKA (10th October 2023; Hyderabad; 2pm IST):

Sri Lanka and Pakistan contested against each other in an ICC tournament in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2023. Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan and smashed their goal of reaching the finals. But now, Pakistan has a chance of redemption. This is an important tournament for the latter, as they will be playing on Indian soil after six years. Further, they were recently overturned from the first position in the ICC ODI team rank. Hence, winning the World Cup may give them the first position in the ODI ranking again. On the other hand, Sri Lanka is soaring high with their brilliant performance in the Asia Cup 2023. It was only in the finals against India that they had to face an unfortunate and humiliating defeat. Nonetheless, they look forward to continuing their form. Hence, it would be interesting to watch who will upset whom, the Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lankan team or the Babar Azam-led Pakistani team.

3.SOUTH AFRICA VS NETHERLANDS (17th October 2023; Dharamshala; 2pm IST):

Once you enter the tournament, it will be inspirational for everyone to do well.

Ryan Cook, Coach of the Netherlands Cricket Team

This match will witness a showdown between a seasoned and an inexperienced team. While South Africa has been playing ODI World Cups for years now, the Netherlands has a mere record of qualifying for such an important cricketing tournament four times only. Despite having some of the best players in the squad of 11 every time, South Africa has not been able to quench their thirst for the World Cup. On the other hand, the Netherlands looks forward to showcasing their best performance, attempting to re-establish their feet in the world of cricket. To conclude, it will be a battle between the fourth-ranked South African team and the fourteenth-ranked Netherlands team. Even though South Africa has the upper hand, we are all up for a last-minute surprise!

4. INDIA VS NEW ZEALAND (22nd October 2023; Dharamshala; 2pm IST):

India will take one game at a time

Rohit Sharma, Captain of Indian Cricket Team

India will play its first match in the tournament on October 8, 2023, against Australia in Chennai. There are eight fixtures that India will be playing in. Even though I am excited for all, if there is one match I am eagerly looking forward to, then its got to be the India vs. New Zealand match

India and its encounters with New Zealand in ICC matches have always been eventful. The former had a heartbreaking defeat against New Zealand in the semi-final of the ODI WORLD CUP 2019. They also lost the finals in the inaugural of the ICC Test Championship 2019-2021 against New Zealand. Hence this time, when these two teams lock horns against each other, India will try to break its unwanted record of choking against New Zealand while New Zealand will try to back its consistent performance against India. While we hope for India to win this match, we shouldn’t be underestimating New Zealand and their power to turn the match on their side in the last moment.

5. AUSTRALIA VS ENGLAND (4th November 2023; Ahmedabad; 2pm IST):

Both Australia and England have a long-standing history of rivalry in cricket. The Ashes Test Tournament is a prime example of how the Prime Ministers of both countries contributed to the resulting contention. While Australia is one of the most successful teams in ODI (having won five ODI Cricket World Cups), England is the defending champion. Therefore, Australia would like to believe that they can defeat England the same way they did in The Ashes 2023. However, England will play their best to defend their cup as well as give Australia a taste of their own medicine.

There are many other interesting fixtures to watch but these are my personal favorites. India and cricket fans all over the world are ready for the riveting ICC ODI World Cup of 2023. The finals will be held on November 19, 2023, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. We are hoping that this edition will be a memorable one for all cricket enthusiasts, and on a personal note, for all Indian fans.

Ritika Das

Delhi North '24

Ritika Das is a Chapter Member at the Her Campus North Delhi Chapter and a part of the Content Writing team for it's website. While she has explored different genres of topics but the most comfortable ones have always been entertainment, books and sports. Beyond Her Campus, she is a third year Political Science student of Indraprastha College For Women. She was the ex-sub editor of the English Editorial society of her college. She has also successfully published various articles in many regional and national newspapers and also in some of college magazines across du circuit. Her love for films and literary works justify the fact that she has done a two years minor course on Multimedia and Mass communication. In her leisure time, Ritika loves to get hold of the latest web series/films and also has an affiliation towards art and craft. She considers herself as one of the biggest cricket fan and and a true lover of Hindi old songs.