New Delhi [India], September 14 (ANI): One of the iconic batters in the history of cricket Viv Richards has backed India ahead of the upcoming ODI World Cup.
The former West Indies batter holds a place in his heart as he made his Test debut on Indian soil. He went on to describe the special affection he has for India and how the massive home support will help them in the mega tournament.
"I fancy India, I have got a deep affiliation with India, that particular country in itself. I made my debut in India and I have a lot of sentimental reasons about that part of the world. So I will back India to do well, they have massive support you can never forget that when you have massive support it can be seriously encouraging," Richards told ICC.
India will look to lift the World Cup trophy once again just like they did in the 2011 World Cup on their home soil as the mega tournament commences on Thursday, October 5 when 2019 finalists England and New Zealand clash at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, with the event culminating in the final at the same venue on Sunday, 19 November. India will start its campaign with a match against Australia in Chennai on October 8.
Ten teams will feature in this biggest Cricket World Cup ever, to be played across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19, with the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad hosting the tournament opener and the final. The event will feature 48 matches to be played across 46 days.
The venues other than Ahmedabad and Chennai are Bengaluru, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune. While Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram will join Hyderabad in hosting the practice games.
Eight teams have qualified for the 46-day event through the Cricket World Cup Super League while the final two spots were decided by the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier taking place in Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka and the Netherlands grabbed the two final spots in the tournament.
The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals, to be played in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The final will be on November 19 in Ahmedabad. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.
Indian squad for World Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj. (ANI)