Former Proteas captain Shaun Pollock believes host country England and in-form India – who are No 1 and No 2 respectively on the ICC ODI rankings – are favourites to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Pollock shared his views standing alongside the Cricket World Cup trophy in Johannesburg during the South-African leg of the ICC’s ‘trophy tour’ – an initiative used by the ICC to raise awareness for the event taking place in England and Wales from 30 May – 14 July.
‘There are only 10 teams, and each team plays each other before the semi-finals, but I think there will only be about six teams capable of really competing for the trophy,’ Pollock said, as quoted by Netwerk24.
Pollock said it would be difficult for teams like Bangladesh, Afghanistan, West Indies or Sri Lanka to mount any serious challenges – although they are more than capable of staging some shock results along the way.
‘Australia struggled recently, but I believe the return of Steve Smith and David Warner will make a big difference. New Zealand are currently playing good cricke,t but I do think India and England are the favourites to win the event.’
In all seven previous Cricket World Cups – with Pollock involved in four of them during his illustrious career spanning 303 ODI’s representing South Africa – the Proteas have failed to get past the semi-final stage, but Pollock has slight hopes for his countrymen, who are currently just below England and India in third place on the ICC ODI rankings.
‘South Africa will believe they can make the semi-finals, and from there anything can happen,’ he said.
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