Bookies fear Ashes rivals in World Cup betting bonanza

Standing left to right – Mr. Dinesh Jebamani (Chief Manager Liability Product Management and New Age Media – Seylan Bank), Mr.Sudesh Peiris (Senior Manager – Digital Banking Channels – Seylan Bank), Ms. S.Senevirathne (Representative of the Revenue Department – Western Province), Mr. Tilan Wijeyesekera (Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking – Seylan Bank) and Mr. Malik Wickremanayaka (Deputy General Manager – Operations – Seylan Bank)

LONDON, March 13, 2007 (AFP) – One of Britain’s leading bookmakers is hoping anyone other than England or Australia wins the Cricket World Cup.

William Hill has estimated that more than 100 million pounds will be gambled on the World Cup.

“Considering England’s recent on-off form it might surprise people that England are our worst result and it is very much a case of anyone but England or Australia,” said Hill’s spokesman Rupert Adams.

The West Indies are the 8/11 favourites to beat Pakistan in Tuesday’s opening match in Jamaica with Pakistan at even money.

Hills have also opened a book on which England player will be the first to score a six, and make Kevin Pietersen their 2/1 favourite.

England open their World Cup campaign against New Zealand, the other Test nation in Group C, at the Beasejour Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Friday.

Reigning champions Australia, going for an unprecedented hat-trick of titles, are 3/1 favourites to win the World Cup with England some way down the list at 9/1.

An Anglo-Australian final is a 12/1 chance, with a clash between Australia and South Africa, currently top of the