If you’ve not had enough of the Big Bash (and I certainly haven’t) this month sees the start of the Cricket World Cup, hosted by Australia and New Zealand from Down Under. And what a celebration it will be; in fact it will be so riveting that you will be as dry as a drover’s dog just watching the action (that’s thirsty to you and me).
On the gambling front you need to be a drongo if you don’t take the universal 5/2 on offer about AUSTRALIA retaining the Cricket World Cup as they did four years ago. Why? Well let’s look at the batting first of all: In their ranks they have the following – Warner, Watson, Finch, Steve Smith, Maxwell and probably under the astute captaincy of a fit again Michael Clarke. And on the bowling front they have the two bowlers in Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc who are destroying every lineup they encounter. And they are on a roll, and they are probably going to win it in memory of Philip Hughes and they have the conditions and the crowd to gee them on. Strewth, they are likely to come out of the blocks as fast as a possum up a tree!
To me the 5/2 on offer is a fantastic price but for those of you who want to hedge your bets further, one bookmaking firm (William Hill) is offering 7/5 about an AUSTRALASIAN victory, which naturally includes the dangerous cricketing All Blacks of New Zealand.
The Cricket World Cup is not solely about a team victory; also there are number of markets which we can get our teeth into. In the top batsmen market you are obviously looking for a batsman in the top order of his respective team (naturally for opportunities to score) and a batsman whose team goes deep into the tournament (again more innings equals more runs) and my two against the field are AB DE VILLIERS of South Africa and CHRIS GAYLE of the West Indies. Both are unbelievably destructive with the bat and if either stays in for in excess of 20 overs, the number of runs that either will be likely to accrue could easily top a century. At odds of 14/1 with William Hill for the South African and 20/1 with Boyle Sports for the West Indian you can see the attraction.
February also sees the start of the Super League season and my long-term bet for those of you who won’t see a return until the Grand Final at Old Trafford in October is last year’s nearly team the WIGAN WARRIORS who are widely available at 4/1 this time round. Without the moment of madness in last year’s Grand Final when they had a man sent off in the first two minutes and then narrowly lost to St Helens, they would be the reigning champions. This year I see little to trouble them.
Finally with Cheltenham just around the corner (second week of March) I was unable last month due to space restrictions to publish my initial anteposts for Prestbury Park and therefore I attach a betting slip of my previous tips. A full explanation appears online but for reference, the two I would like to augment the previous Canadian with are as follows: William Hill are again doing a Cheltenham Special on a horse to win at Cheltenham irrespective of what race he lines up in, and on that basis I would take the 2/1 on DOUVAN as although favourite for the Supreme he could easily be redirected to the Neptune Novices; and ANNIE POWER at even money who has a number of targets on her radar (Champion, Mares Hurdle, World Hurdle). Good punting.