1. England on one-day pinnacle
Apart from a T20 World Cup, England had not won any major ICC trophies till this year, an anomaly on a nation that boasts of rich cricketing history. Since crashing out of the ICC World Cup 2015, England changed their approach to 50-over cricket. From conservative, they transformed into a bionic unit and batting was all about muscle. It was quite vindicated that England won their maiden 50-over World Cup in their backyard playing this new brand of cricket. The rather gully-cricket looking boundary rule created a flutter around England's win but it cannot be denied that they were deserving winners.
2. The Smith-Warner show is back
The return of Steve Smith and David Warner was one of the most hotly anticipated episodes of 2019. It was worth the wait too. Smith played brilliant cricket throughout Ashes to score upwards of 700 runs in the series, a major reason behind Aussies winning the Ashes on English soil after a long time. However, Warner could not meet the expectations failing to negotiate English pacers, especially Stuart Broad. However, Warner has turned the tables since going through a blast Test series against Pakistan at home. Australia will be that much a bigger force now. Amidst that, England pacer Jofra Archer too made a name for himself in the Ashes. A constant threat because of his high speed, Archer also forced Smith to sit out of a match after hitting him on his head.
3. Test cricket returns to Pakistan
Pakistan had not played host to Test cricket since the attack on Sri Lanka cricketers back in 2009. But the Lankans arrived in Pakistan for a two-Test series in December and it would boost their efforts to stage more cricket in the country. Pakistan are already mulling the idea of hosting Australia in near future for a Test series. For long, they have played in Abu Dhabi as home venue and it seems that they have taken a big step in hosting top-flight cricket again in their own soil.
4. General picture
Apart from the three frontline nations - India, England and Australia, there was not much to cheer for others and especially for South Africa. Once the No 1 team across the format, the Proteas seemed to have hit a downward curve. They have lost some big names like Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn this year to retirement and crumbled in an away series to India quite badly. Off the field, they are struggling to find a way out of the dispute between players' association and Cricket South Africa.
Bangladesh went through an even bigger turmoil. Apart from losing to Afghanistan in a home Test match, the Tigers suffered lop-sided defeat against India in an away series and also saw leading all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan getting banned by the ICC for not reporting the approach by a bookie. West Indies found a late bloom when they defeated Afghanistan in a one-off Test and being competitive against India in the limited-over series.