Four groups of three teams will battle it out for a place in the Super Eight stage and the bookies are finding it hard to decide on a favourite, with India a best price 9/2 (Paddy Power) to claim their second triumph, having won the inaugural event in 2007.
Twenty20 cricket has come a long way in the past five years and England were the surprise winners two years ago in the West Indies when recording a seven-wicket victory against Australia, with Blue Square offering 8/1 that the holders reign supreme once again.
England have several talented players in their ranks, with Stuart Broad captaining the team and there is plenty of experience in the form of Eoin Morgan, Graeme Swann and Ravi Bopara. However, they are up against India in the group stage.
Sri Lanka will attempt to become the first host nation to claim victory in this tournament, with Mahela Jayawardene leading them into battle and Lasith Malinga has bags of experience in this format of the game having played 33 T20Is.
However, one can’t help but feel that the South Africans could be the team to back at 11/2, with AB De Villiers captaining the Proteas and the new ODI skipper is determined to set the record straight when it comes to his side’s reputation for choking.
“We come in with a whole new look in this team. We have worked really hard with a whole new management team, who have given us a lot of energy and new ideas. We will approach this tournament differently and we would like to win the pressure situations. We are going out there to do exactly that.”
South Africa face Sri Lanka in the group stage which should give us an idea of both teams’ credentials, while Australia will arrive full of confidence and they are a 13/2 chance to go all the way.
The format of Twenty20 cricket means that this is a wide open World Cup, with Pakistan and West Indies also likely to stake their claim for an overall victory, although the biggest pointer to date was the Indian victory over Sri Lanka by 26 runs.