Commencing on the 30th of May and concluding on the 14th of July, the 2019 Cricket World Cup looks to be one of the more open competitions in recent memory and with a lot of drama going on behind the scenes.
If you are like me, a huge cricket fan, then there’s no way you’re going to miss out on the action. Here I will show you how you can watch any match from the tournament from anywhere in the world. You just need to get a VPN!
Major Changes To The 2019 Cricket World Cup
This year’s Cricket World Cup only features 10 teams following the ICC’s decision to reconfigure the tournament’s format. While this goes against the "World" concept of a World Cup, it means that all the games should be of the highest quality with only the top ten ranked teams involved.
The decision to reduce the competition to ten means that Zimbabwe will be missing their first Cricket World Cup since 1983 and Ireland since 2007. This new format means that instead of pools, each team will play each other once in a round robin format with the top four teams making the semi-finals, of which the victors will battle it out in the final.
This means 45 games of cricket in the round robin stage, plus three finals totaling 48 high-stakes games across the beautiful stadiums of England and Wales that you don’t want to miss.
The ten countries competing, ordered by current rankings are:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- West Indies
Teams To Watch In The Cricket World Cup
This is meant to be an article on how to watch the cricket, not a tournament preview, so I can’t talk about all the teams but the ninth-ranked West Indies could be a huge smokey following the return of stars such as Chris Gayle and Andre Russell. Plus Jason Holder’s test cricket form over the last 12 months has been ridiculous. Will it translate to the ODI format for this World Cup?
England will be enjoying the home ground advantage provided to them this tournament, and despite having hosted on three previous occasions (1975, 1979, 1983) they have yet to win. 2019 seems to be their best chance, sitting on top of the rankings thanks to an explosive batting lineup consisting of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, and Jos Buttler, while being anchored by the ever-reliable Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan.
Teams have struggled to keep this batting lineup to low totals allowing their experienced and smart bowling lineup to do their job no fuss and keep the opposition to reasonable scores.
India will be backing themselves in with captain Virat Kohli never showing a dip in form, as well as opening batsman Rohit Sharma’s continuous dynamic opening batting. The batting lineup has been a little inconsistent coming into the tournament but they now seem to be settled with their batting lineup, including the recent re-inclusion of former captain MS Dhoni.
Their bowling has taken a huge leap in recent times with young stars Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav taking the world by storm. Supported by Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Ravindra Jadeja, this bowling attack coupled with their experienced batting lineup makes them a formidable opponent.
New Zealand’s 2015 campaign consisted of ridiculous highs and lows within just a couple of days. The ecstasy of their nail-biting, against all odds victory in the semi-final against South Africa was coupled with the despair of a dismal outing against Australia in the final a couple of days later. Once again anchored by stalwarts Kane Richardson and Ross Taylor as well as opening batsman ODI star Martin Guptill, New Zealand will be looking to go one step further this time around.
South Africa have revealed several star young players over the last few years. Aiden Markram, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi look like they are set to dominate internationally for the next ten years. Coupled with experienced veterans du Plessis, de Kock, Steyn, Duminy, Amla, and Tahir it is a stacked lineup. Hopefully, for South Africa, they can break whatever curse has been laid on them - they have always found a way to get knocked out of the World Cup when seemingly on top. With an incredible lineup, perhaps this might be their year.
Since their triumph in 2015, the fortunes of defending champions, Australia have been very different from those that they enjoyed last World Cup. Injuries, poor individual form, as well as some questionable decisions at the selection table, meant Australia had gone rather cold following the previous World Cup. Add to that the loss of David Warner and former captain Steve Smith due to the sandpaper incident, meant Australia had a significantly weakened team.
Smith and Warner have been selected for this World Cup as their bans have just ended, but they haven’t played any international cricket in over 12 months. Will they be able to return to form? Guess you’ll have to watch to find out. As they usually seem to do, Australia has all of a sudden hit a hot vein of form running into the tournament with a recent dominant series win over Pakistan.
Streaming Services Providing World Cup Coverage
If you want to watch every game of the Cricket World Cup you will have to spend a little money, however, there are some free options that will provide you at least decent coverage of the tournament. The streaming providers I discuss below will have restrictions allowing them to only be played within their specific countries, but disregard that. I will also talk about how to navigate around those with a VPN.
FREE Options For Watching The 2019 Cricket World Cup
Channel 9 - Australia
Channel 9 has the rights to stream every Australian match as well as the three finals, so if that’s all you’re interested in then this is the perfect option for you.
PTV Sports or Ten Sports - Pakistan
Rabbit Hole - Bangladesh
Rabbit Hole appears to be broadcasting the entire tournament as well but has the same issue as Pakistan, not many VPNs have a server in Bangladesh, but ExpressVPN does!
Paid Subscriptions For Watching The 2019 Cricket World Cup
If you already have a subscription to any of these services the World Cup is included:
Hotstar Sports - India
Fox Sports - Australia
Sky Go - UK
Sky Go - New Zealand
Supersport - South Africa
Willow TV - USA
You need not bother with any of the free options further above. All you will need is a VPN to adjust your online location to match that of your subscription.
What Does A VPN Do And Where to Get One?
Due to broadcasting rights and restrictions, streaming services are only allowed to broadcast to those located within a specific country or area. They can identify your location by checking your IP address.
A VPN redirects your connection to a server in a location of your choice, adjusting your IP address to that of your selected location. This means you can watch whatever streams you want, wherever you want and avoid geoblocks.
The VPN that is the best fit for you depends on what you are looking for. If you are going through the Bangladesh or Pakistan route, or even if you want to stream things from more obscure countries, then ExpressVPN is definitely the best option as it has the fastest servers with the greatest range and is constantly updating them.
NordVPN is another I would recommend. While it may not be satisfactory for streaming out of Bangladesh or Pakistan, it is a little cheaper and also has an excellent range of constantly updated servers.
If you don’t want to spend a single cent, you can utilize the 30-day trial that ExpressVPN offers.
Any stream combined with a VPN should give you access to the World Cup. Just be careful for those planning to stream from Bangladesh or Pakistan as your VPN options will be more limited. However, Bangladesh and Pakistan appear to be your only free complete coverage options.
As for the tournament, I can’t help but back the Aussies. They always seem to shine come World Cup time and I reckon Warner and Smith won’t take long to regain their pre-ban form. They’ll beat England at least.
Enjoy the tournament!