Cricket enthusiasts around the world were filled with excitement as the ODI World Cup 2023 finally got underway in Ahmedabad. The defending champions, England, faced off against New Zealand in a thrilling encounter that left fans on the edge of their seats.
The legendary Sachin Tendulkar, often referred to as the “God of Cricket,” added to the grandeur of the event by carrying the coveted World Cup trophy onto the pitch. This iconic moment marked the beginning of the much-awaited tournament, which is being exclusively hosted by India for the first time.
For Tendulkar, the experience was nothing short of ‘surreal.’ He couldn’t help but reminisce about India’s historic quarter-final victory against Australia in the 2011 ODI World Cup, also held in Ahmedabad.
“It was a surreal experience to carry that trophy out on the field. We ended up playing here, a quarter-final against Australia, and that night was a special night for us. To come back here, same stadium, 12 years down the line. Something nice has happened actually. Before 2011, no host nation had won the tournament. Post that, all home nations have won. India’s hosting so, keeping those fingers crossed,” Tendulkar shared during an interaction with ICC’s Digital Insider.
As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the unfolding of this grand tournament, Tendulkar, like many other experts, weighed in on his predictions for the semi-finalists of the ODI World Cup 2023. His choices were nothing short of fascinating.
The ‘Master Blaster’ confidently selected hosts India as one of the top-four teams to reach the semi-finals. His reasoning was straightforward, as he believes India possesses a well-balanced and formidable team.
“So is the case with Australia, I feel they have a balanced team,” Tendulkar continued, showing his faith in the five-time champions.
The defending champions, England, also secured a spot in his predictions. According to Tendulkar, England boasts a potent combination of experienced players and promising newcomers.
Lastly, Tendulkar placed New Zealand in his list of semi-finalists. He highlighted New Zealand’s impressive track record in world championships, having reached the finals in both 2015 and 2019.
“My fourth team would be New Zealand. They have played the finals in 2015 and 2019. If you look at their track record, New Zealand in world championships have always done well, and I see them getting to the semis,” Tendulkar concluded confidently.
With the stage set and cricketing giants ready to battle it out on the field, the ODI World Cup 2023 promises to be a spectacle like no other. Sachin Tendulkar’s sentiments and predictions have added an extra layer of anticipation to this thrilling tournament, leaving fans eager to witness the drama, excitement, and unforgettable moments that lie ahead.