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With the world cup around the corner, the question on every body’s mind is who will win the cup. Will it be an Aussie Hattrick or will some other team take away the honours?

The World Cup trophy has been damaged while on display in India. A gold ring below the coins depicting previous winners of the tournament got detached from the wooden base of the trophy, which was made in England at an estimated cost of US$80,000.

A golden sun, wonderful beaches, yacht trips around the world are the things people have in mind when going to the Caribbean. But these things will be the last ones on their mind when the world cup begins, and the best 16 teams in the world contest for the biggest prize of cricket on earth.

Now with the injuriesand the dope test the world cup might have lost some of its sheen, but a lot still remains, there by making it one sporting event to be watched out for. For the Aussies who have had their aura of invincibility, they might want to turn the tables on the other teams to prove their might. With Ponting, Clark and Symonds fit and ready to fire all cylinders the Aussie juggernaut might prove a tough one to be stopped.

Windies playing in their own backyard will be quite align to the conditions. Also they have been on a steady roll since last year, so they have build a good momentum before entering into the tournament. With the home crowd’s support behind them they might prove to be a tough nut to crack.

The Lankan Lions were shaping up quite well until they came to India, where they were beaten badly in the ODI series. This might have bruised their chances for the trophy. But with rested Vaas and Murli back in their ranks, they might prove to be a handful.

Kiwis will enter the cup with their tales up after washing up the Aussies 3-0 in the ODIs. All their players are in good form and are peaking just at the right time. As fit an outfit as they are, it seems that they have maximized their chances this season for lifting the title, which has always been eluding them.

Being crowned the ODI’s number one team, The Proteas have received just the right medicine for the world cup. They are on the right track which they proved after demolishing both Indian and Pakistani team. But as always it has been, they have always chocked on the big stage. In every world cup which they have played, they looked unbeatable, but at the end moment they just lost the plot and luck completely deserted them. We have to keep our fingers crossed as this one might prove to be theirs.

Pakistan as we already know have been a mercurial outfit who have shown their mettle in big tournaments. They have always risen from the ashes like a phoenix whenever they looked to be in complete tatters. After losing out Akhtar and Asif to dope tests, they will be entering the tournament with the point to prove.

England, the country which gave birth to cricket, but never won the world cup itself. Losing three times in the finals, they have always surprised the cricketing pandits with their on field performance. Defeating the Aussies in the tri-series final being their only creditable win in this season, much cannot be expected from them.

Finally, India. This Indian team seems to have just the right balance. They have highly experienced players in the line-up and also the youth who will prove electric on the field. Also as this may be the last world cup for the likes Kumble, Sachin, Ganguly and Dravid they would like to sign off on a high note.

Lastly it can be said that strategies on pages will matter little when teams will be on field. For when in the field they would have to strike the correct balance between batting and bowling. It is mostly hard work and a bit of luck which is required to win the cup. But remember teams are always not lucky, so the team which survives the 50 plus days of test in the best way will be crowned champions on 28th April…