THOUSANDS of Indian cricket enthusiasts are praying for victory of India against New Zealand in the first semi final of the 14th ICC organised Men’s World Cup at Manchester’s Old Trafford on July 8. India is led by Virat Kohli .Ten nations are participating in the ongoing WC scheduled from May 30 to July 14. It is being hosted by England and Wales .Australia is the defending champions. The India is two times World Champions. In addition to winning the 1983 Cricket World Cup, Indians triumphed over Sri Lanka in the 2011 Cricket World Cup on home soil. In 1983, the team was captained by Kapil Dev ,one of the best world’s all rounders, in the final held in England .They were also runners-up at the 2003 Cricket World Cup, and semi-finalists four times in 1987, 1996, 2015 and Dhoni still remains part of the WC as wicketkeeper and batsman. India’s 1983 World Cup victory against West Indies was a major a landmark event for the Indian cricket as the win not only boasted Indian pride but also went a long way in popularizing it across the subcontinent. India began to take ODI cricket seriously after bagging its first World Cup with the corporate houses evincing interest in cricket .BCCI ( The Board of Control For Cricket in India) with patronage by business houses started enhancing remuneration to the players who devoted much time and energy to the game after taking up cricket as their professions. The 2019 WC final for men final will be at historic Lord’s in London. As Firstpost says about the first WC of 2019 semi-final, New Zealand have beaten India in all the three matches that they have played against them in England. However, New Zealand has lost their last three matches in this World Cup — the first instance when they lost three consecutive matches in an ODI World Cup. India and New Zealand didn’t play each other in the league stage as the match in Nottingham was abandoned without toss due to rain. India has finished the league stage on the top of the points table with seven wins. At Old Trafford India beat Pakistan and the West Indies in league stage. Rain impact the first semi-final. The sky is expected to be cloudy throughout the day. In the event of a washout, the match will be played on the reserve day on Wednesday. There are indications that India will include Yuzvendra Chahal in the playing XI after resting him for their last league stage match against Sri Lanka on Saturday. Though the formidable Indian top-order, led by tournament top-scorer Rohit Sharma, is expected to deliver, New Zealand’s seam attack will also be ready and waiting to knock at the corridor of uncertainty. It has been a campaign in which Kohli and his men have been successfully able to hide their chinks even without a suitable ‘Plan B’ but they don’t have an option of letting the script go awry any more. Meanwhile, Dubai headquartered International Cricket Council has declared a total prize money pool of US $10 million for the tournament, the same as the 2015 edition. The prize money will be distributed according to the performance of the team as follows: For Winner $4,000,000 $4,000,000: Runner-up $2,000,000 $2,000,000: Losing semi-finalists $800,000 $1,600,000 :Winner of each league stage match $40,000 $1,800,000: Teams that do not pass the league stage $100,000 $600,000: Total $10,000,000.It may be recalled that India and New Zealand have a lot of experience of playing in the knockouts but this is the first time they will face each other in a World Cup semi-final match. New Zealand holds a 4-3 advantage over India with one match being a washout. While India will be led by Virat Kohli, a trend setter, New Zealand will be captained Kane Williamson as weather God is trying to play truant. The winner will face either England or Australia, who play their semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday (edited by Pranab Kumar Chakravarty).