THE Men’s Cricket World Cup is under way and for the first time in many years I actually think England will win the whole tournament.

I am not an England fan, as my loyalty lies with a Pakistani team which is likely to either triumph magnificently or fail miserably.

They began the competition by doing the latter.

I am finding cricket is polarising people even more than before. Now we have some diehard Pakistan fans going up against those who say they are ‘living here’ and so should support their own country.

There are two things wrong with this. Firstly, the same accusation is hardly made against, for instance, a person of Italian heritage supporting the Italian national football team.

And secondly, some of us are proud to fail the 'Norman Tebbit Test' when Mrs Thatcher's enforcer claimed in the 80s people should support the team of the land they live in.

Not supporting England doesn’t mean anyone hates where they are born.

On the flip side I have a friend who is so anti-Pakistani and hates the nation of his father’s birth because he senses that if we make too much of a stink ‘we may get kicked out’.

It isn’t happening as we Brits can’t possibly live without the curries.

But the logic behind this love of a far-off land where people only visit now to get away from the horrible weather is deeper.

The reason some of us love cricket more than others has much to do with our belief that we are still ‘putting one over the empire’.

I know this might be strange but hear me out.

Cricket was never just another game when we were growing up. This has much to do with how the established cricketing sides looked down upon their South Asian competitors.

There was also a great deal of animosity from the media too who did not like the fact that teams were at times better than England and Australia.

Growing up it was refreshing to see the West Indies turn everything on its head.

I recollect watching back page after back page calling the great bowlers Wasim and Waqar cheats because they had learnt to reverse-swing the ball.

When England learned to do it it became 'an art'.

In 2019 things have changed for the better and I do think the home side winning will be a defining moment. I am looking forward to it. You never know I may well change loyalties. Stranger things have happened.