Gary Kirsten says Australia will bounce-back from the ball-tampering scandal and will be contenders in the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Despite Australia cricket being rocked by the ball-tampering scandal, the former Proteas batsman and coach believes that the defending champions cannot be ruled out of contention.
Kirsten, who won the tournament as head coach of India in 2011, had an email interview with Reuters where he revealed his thoughts on Australia’s chances in the tournament.
‘You can never count Australia out of any big tournament,’ said Kirsten.
‘They are the most consistent team across big tournaments and I am sure they will be ready to compete at the next World Cup.’
Australia appointed Justin Langer as their new coach on Thursday, succeeding Darren Lehmann who stepped down as coach after Australia’s 3-1 series defeat in Australia.
Kirsten has also been impressed by England’s rise in quality in the limited-overs format.
‘All the teams have got closer and it really is open for any team to win the big tournaments,’ said Kirsten.
‘England are playing an aggressive and exciting brand of cricket and it has certainly put them in a great position to contend in all tournaments.’
The gap between the top teams have definitely been rising and Kirsten is confident that the tournament is more open than it has ever been.
The Proteas, infamously nicknamed the ‘chokers’ having never won an ICC event since 1998 will hope they can finally cross the line in 2019. Kirsten believes that AB de Villiers will not be their only hope for completing a winning campaign.
‘South Africa has built a team where you have a number of match winners,’ said Kirsten. ‘AB is one of them and he will be doing all he can to make sure he contributes as he always does.’
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