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Virat Kohli wildly celebrating - 1 point, Jos Buttler being Mankaded - 5 points: 2019 Cricket World Cup spotters guide

Six weeks, 48 matches and around 336 hours of cricket to be played, so to maintain attention, refer to Paul Radley's spotters guide

Win points on the two sides of David Warner: 0.5 for looking angry, a whopping five if he graciously departs the field after feathering a nick to the keeper. Getty Images
Win points on the two sides of David Warner: 0.5 for looking angry, a whopping five if he graciously departs the field after feathering a nick to the keeper. Getty Images

It is safe to assume this tournament is going to throw up some of the most exciting, high-octane cricket there has ever been in the history of cricket’s World Cup.

Home fans have a team to feel inspired by, who score 350 as a matter of course, and who will enter the event optimistic of creating history as the first England team to win this version of the World Cup.

And yet virtually all of the other sides in the competition will harbour hopes – some more realistic than others – of finishing on top of the podium at the end, too.

India have Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah. Australia know what it takes to win. And have you seen Shimron Hetmyer and Mohammed Shahzad bat? Or Trent Boult, Rashid Khan, and Jofra Archer bowl? Or Ravindra Jadeja field?

Still, though. Let’s not kid ourselves that there won’t be times when watching this tournament feels, well, just a bit of a slog.

It does, after all, last for six weeks. Each team plays nine group games. There are 48 matches in all. If every one went for its full duration, there should be around 336 hours of cricket played – not even allowing for slow over-rates and between-innings breaks.

Maintaining attention for the whole bit will be a struggle, no matter how cricket crazed you are. So we have devised a guide to help you stay focused during the Boring Middle Overs.

Accrue points based on the regularity the following sights cropping up. The highest score wins. Pencil at the ready. Good luck.

  • England all-rounder Ben Stokes looking angry – 0.5 points
  • Australia batsman David Warner looking angry – 0.5 points
England all-rounder Ben Stokes. Press Association
England all-rounder Ben Stokes. Press Association
  • Virat Kohli maniacally acclaiming a wicket for his India team, eyes bulging, arms whirring – 1 point
  • Michael Vaughan describing Virat Kohli as being “from another planet” either on commentary or Twitter – 1 point
  • Graeme Smith using the word “pressure” during commentary – 1 point (add a bonus point if he says “period of time” during the same commentary stint)
  • New Zealand being referred to as “dark horses” – 1 point
  • Pakistan’s Sarfraz Ahmed beginning the answer to his post-match interview with the word “definitely” – 1 point
India captain Virat Kohli. AP Photo
India captain Virat Kohli. AP Photo
  • Afghanistan opener Mohammed Shahzad hitting a leg-side boundary while looking the other way – 2 points
  • South Africa captain Faf du Plessis sucking a sweet – 2 points
  • India all-rounder Kedar Jadhav getting a send off from more than one opposition player – 2 points
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. Getty Images
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. Getty Images
  • India cast-off Ambati Rayudu sat in the posh seats wearing shades, asking if there is any chance they can change the channel on the big-screen to watch Avatar instead of this boring cricket – 3 points (add a bonus point if Vijay Shankar has just come to the wicket)
  • West Indies dasher Shimron Hetmyer hitting the first ball he faces for six – 3 points (add 3 extra bonus points if he is out second ball, caught on the boundary)
West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer. Courtesy ICC
West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer. Courtesy ICC
  • David Warner feathering a nick to the keeper, and showing some elite honestly by walking straight off, no questions asked – 5 points
  • Steve Smith showing some elite magnanimity when being given out erroneously, with Australia’s decision review already having been burned – 5 points
  • The ethics police knocking on the door to England’s dressing room asking if they can speak to Jofra Archer. There has been a report that David Willey’s World Cup dream has been stolen – 5 points
  • The Universe Boss Chris Gayle sprinting a three – 5 points
  • A batsman apparently being bowled as the Zing bails alight, only for them to settle back down on their grooves, thus sparing said batsman – 5 points
  • Some sandpaper – 5 points
  • England’s Jos Buttler being Mankaded – 5 points (add 5 extra bonus points if the bowler executing the run out is his arch nemesis Ravichandran Ashwin)

  • An image emerging of Junaid Khan being gagged, holding up a copy of that day’s Pakistan starting XI towards the camera – 5 points (add 5 extra points if you can prove the two people in balaclavas in the picture holding him hostage are Mohammed Amir and Wahab Riaz)
Jos Buttler, right, was a victim of 'Mankading' by Ravi Ashwin in the Indian Premier League. AP Photo
Jos Buttler, right, was a victim of 'Mankading' by Ravi Ashwin in the Indian Premier League. AP Photo
  • New Zealand’s Kane Williamson using his post-match captain’s interview to animatedly deliver a Churchillian address about the state of the nation, then boasting about just how brilliant he is. He finishes off by staring straight down the lens of the camera and screaming: “Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?” – 10 points
  • England’s Eoin Morgan doing the lap of honour after England win the final at Lord’s with an Ireland flag draped over his shoulders – 10 points
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. AFP
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. AFP
  • An associate team – 100 points
UAE and Nepal: two Associate nation cricket teams. Pawan Singh / The National
UAE and Nepal: two Associate nation cricket teams. Pawan Singh / The National

Updated: May 26, 2019 03:49 PM

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