Sports Editors:

    The AP’s Cricket World Cup preview package has been sent.

    These are on the wire:


    LONDON _ All the usual suspects have gathered for the Cricket World Cup at the home of cricket, and yet something is missing. The rest of the world. When the first ball is bowled at the Oval on Thursday, only 10 teams will be gunning to be world champion, the smallest number since 1992. By Foster Niumata. 750 words, photos.



    CRI--CWC-HISTORY CAPSULES _ A look at the 11 previous Cricket World Cups.

    CRI--CWC-TEAM CAPSULES _ A look at all 10 teams.

    CRI--CWC-VENUES CAPSULES _ A look at all 11 grounds.



    A glance at Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, and Rashid Khan. By Steve Douglas. 780 words, photos.



    While India is Asia’s obvious contender for the Cricket World Cup title, four other teams from the continent can also pose problems. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are former champions. Bangladesh and Afghanistan are relatively new to the scene but upset-ready. By Rizwan Ali. 900 words, photos.



    England has quite comfortably its best-ever one-day international team going into a Cricket World Cup on home soil. England is the top-ranked ODI lineup in the world and the tournament favorite as it bids to end a 44-year wait for a first global trophy in the 50-over game. The English will seek to capitalize on home conditions and a fearsome batting lineup that has broken records since the last World Cup. By Steve Douglas. 790 words, photos.



    With the ultra-competitive Virat Kohli at the helm at a Cricket World Cup for the first time, India has to be one of the strongest contenders for the title. Two-time champion India is ranked behind only host England and has a bigger following and more resources than any cricket team in the world. Expectations are high. By Rizwan Ali. 700 words, photos.



    Defending champion Australia is growing in confidence ahead of the Cricket World Cup despite being ranked fifth at the start of the tournament. Former captain and vice-captain Steve Smith and David Warner are back after 12-month bans to add their experience to a squad that had just worked out how to win without its two biggest stars. By John Pye. 800 words, photos.



    The Cricket World Cup in England may serve as a reminder that the luster the tournament enjoys and the popularity of the one-day game derives to a large extent from the contribution of the West Indies. The Windies won the tournament in England in each of its first two editions in 1975 and in ’79. And in doing so gave credibility to a one-day format which was in its infancy when the World Cup was launched. By Steve McMorran. 610 words, photos.



    Once more, South Africa’s priority in preparing for the Cricket World Cup is dealing with the trauma of previous World Cups. That’s easier said than done. No matter how well South Africa plays in the four years in between, cricket’s showpiece always brings negative connotations for the Proteas, whose dramatic failures have almost become World Cup tradition. None of them were more heartbreaking than the last time the World Cup was in England in 1999. By Gerald Imray. 740 words, photos.



    The excitement which built around New Zealand's drive to the Cricket World Cup final four years ago has long subsided and a team under a new coach and captain will endeavor to regenerate that feeling in England. A sense of national euphoria grew during New Zealand's dramatic run to the final in 2015 before its eventual and deflating loss to Australia in Melbourne. The mood ahead of this new campaign is not the same; not a confident hope but a small one, brittle but deeply felt. By Steve McMorran. 640 words, photos.


    AP Sports.

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