• McGrath backs England: I can’t remain biased my whole life

    Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath has surprisingly earmarked arch-rivals England among the favourites to win the 2019 World Cup.

    England currently occupy first position in the International Cricket Council’s rankings for ODI teams – and will co-host this year’s tournament alongside Wales.

    However, they lost last week’s World Cup warm-up fixture to Australia at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.

    ‘England, a very good one-day unit. To me they are the favourites going into this World Cup, so I think they’ll do very well,’ McGrath told ESPNcricinfo.

    ‘I can’t remain biased my whole life. You’ve got to go on current form. The England team – the way they go about it, they have impressed me. They have scored some big, big totals.

    ‘Most teams used to go hard in the first 15 and the last 15, and consolidate in the middle. But teams like England, India are just going hard the whole 50 overs, and that’s the impact T20 cricket has had.

    ‘So, I don’t think I’ve ever said “England are the team to beat” or the “favourites”. I didn’t say they were going to win the World Cup, though. So they are the favourites and are going to be tough to beat in their own conditions, but fingers crossed, Australia can do well.’

    McGrath boasts the most wickets in the history of the World Cup, with 71 collected in 39 matches across 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007’s campaigns.

    Photo: Getty Images

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