Friday 3 January 2014 

Cricket World's 2014 Predictions - John Pennington

England Women
JP predicts a glorious 2014 for England Women - but what do you think?
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Cricket World's John Pennington makes his predictions for the 2014 season, from the ICC World Cup Qualifier through to the county season in the UK.

This year, we have invited our correspondents and team members to predict a number of cricket events as well as other major sporting events in what is a huge year for sport as well as cricket.

Here are John's selections.

Women's Ashes - I think England will be too strong and with a new coach, and everybody fit, they will retain the trophy they won impressively last year.

World Cup Qualifier - It might not be particularly exciting, but I can't see beyond the Netherlands and Scotland making it through. Although Hong Kong and Nepal performed heroically to reach the ICC World T20, I can't see them repeating the trick in the longer format.

ICC World Twenty20 - Always difficult to pick a winner, but I'm going for India, who will be comfortable with conditions in Bangladesh.

Women's World T20 - England to follow up an Ashes success with their second T20 victory and end Australia's dominance.

Six Nations Rugby - They have to beat Wales at Twickenham, and if they do, then I'm going for England to win.

Indian Premier League - Going to go for Chennai Super Kings as you can't keep them down for long.

Hockey World Cup - Hosts generally do well so the Netherlands for me.

Football World Cup - Brazil will win. Belgium will impress. England won't.

Wimbledon Tennis - I can't see Andy Murray retaining his title unless he gets off to a strong start on his return from injury, so will instead go for Novak Djokovic.

English T20 Cup - Pick a name out of a hat. Surrey, who came close last year and haven't won anything for a while, which is unusual for them.

England v India Test series - England to win but it won't be anywhere near as comfortable as last time. Look out for Kohli, Pujara and co. to further their reputations at England's expense before falling just short.

County Championship - I'm predicting Durham to retain their title, although they will have to do it the hard way, without having the services of Scott Borthwick and Ben Stokes for some of the campaign.

English 50-over Competition - Like Daniel, I'm going for Hampshire and for exactly the same reason - they are always there or thereabouts.

F1 Champion - The rule changes might shake things up a bit, so I'm going for a different champion: Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes but I'd most like to see a glorious, title-winning return to Ferrari for 'Ice-Man' Kimi Raikkonen

Players to watch: Ishwar Pandey, Stokes, Jesse Ryder (cricket's comeback story of 2013) and Bilawal Bhatti

I am most looking forward to: Another huge year for women's cricket with The Ashes and the Women's World T20 and I am interested to see whether Sri Lanka and the West Indies can mix up the established order in the shorter format.

Anything else: I hope we are spending more time writing and talking about on-field issues than off-field issues this year.

We'll be looking back at our predictions at the end of the year and if you want to have a go, then please leave us a comment below.

© Cricket World 2014