Yorkshire CCC coach Ottis Gibson's predictions for the 2023 Cricket World Cup
Gibson, 54, will undergo surgery later this month after years of pounding the fast-bowling beat for the West Indies and in English and South African domestic cricket took a heavy toll on his joints. If the operation is successful, he plans to start bowling again – but only in the nets to his Yorkshire players.
The World Cup starts in Ahmedabad on Thursday when England face New Zealand in a repeat of the 2019 final.
“I’m having surgery on my knee on the 24th, so I’ll have nothing else to do but lie in my bed and watch cricket from morning till night,” said Gibson.
“So I’ll be there ringing my bell and getting my wife to bring me some tea,” he quipped.
The operation will hopefully make Gibson’s life much easier as he explained: “It’s basically half a knee replacement on the inside.
“My meniscus is gone. The surgeon says, ‘No more injections, they’re not going to help.’ Anyway, he’s very confident that I’ll be up and running in no time.
“If it goes well, I will definitely get my boots on and bowl in the nets.
"I don’t think I’ll be playing any cricket, but I’ll definitely bowl some balls in the nets.
“I’ve been looking forward to doing that, but I just can’t run on my knee, so, hopefully, if he (the surgeon) gives me that back, then I’ll bowl some balls in the nets to the lads.”
As cups of tea are ferried to and from Gibson’s bedside and, who knows, perhaps even some grapes lovingly lowered into his mouth, he would not be surprised to see India win the World Cup.
“The winner of the tournament… I think India will probably win it, but there’s some very good teams,” he reflected.
“I think it’s going to be a wider-open World Cup than people think.
"I don’t think there’s a clear and obvious favourite out there other than India, perhaps, because they’re playing at home.
“But South Africa looks a good team, a good outfit. Temba (Bavuma) is leading them well. England will obviously be one of the favourites as the holders. You can’t discount the Aussies, and you can’t discount the Kiwis either.
“I could see New Zealand having another good tournament even though it’s over there in the subcontinent.
"New Zealand are a very good tournament team.”
Asked the key to winning in India, Gibson said: “Oh, there’s so many things.
"You’ve got to play spin well, and there will be a lot of spin.
“It depends on the surfaces, of course, and you’ve got to be comfortable trying to defend or chase 250 over there.
“There’s not going to be many massive 300 and 400 scores.
"Over there, 250 can be a good score.”