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England remain favourites for 2019 glory

Eoin Morgan launches a slog-sweep on his way to fifty Getty Images

Time is marching on, and there is now barely a year to go until the 2019 World Cup, the first to have been played in England since 1999, and the long-range odds point squarely towards a home triumph.

Eoin Morgan's men enhanced their white-ball credentials with a pair of series wins this winter - 4-1 against Australia and 3-2 against New Zealand - and are now a prohibitively skinny 3/1 to break their 50-over drought and lift the World Cup for the first time, after featuring in three previous finals.

The current holders Australia, England's next ODI opponents in June, remain second-favourites at 10/3 - even though their plans in the build-up have been thrown into disarray by the ball-tampering bans imposed on their captain and vice-captain, Steve Smith and David Warner. Both men will be eligible for selection in good time for the tournament, but it remains to be seen how the squad reconfigures itself in the interim.

India, at 9/2, and South Africa, at 5/1, complete the heavyweight end of the betting - both sides have strong designs on glory, with India set to use this year's tour of England as a sighter, and South Africa targeting their first World Cup title as the perfect way to send off a raft of greats, including AB de Villiers and, subject to fitness, Dale Steyn.

But Pakistan at 10/1 are alluring - they did, after all, make off with the ICC Champions Trophy on English soil last summer. And what about West Indies, two times champions in 1975 and 1979, at 16/1? Now that they've made it through qualifying, who knows where their limit will be.

And the same might well be said of the indomitable Afghans - outsiders in every sense at 100/1, but their journey to the World Cup was extraordinary even by their own standards, as they came back from the dead in the qualifiers to beat West Indies in the final.