Legendary Proteas all-rounder Shaun Pollock has given his firm endorsement for South Africa’s chances of lifting the 2019 Cricket World Cup at Lord’s on 14 July.
Speaking in an interview on the ICC’s website, Pollock (who has suffered through a number of World Cup heartaches with the Proteas during his stellar career) believes the current squad has what it takes to triumph in England and lift the Cup in July.
‘There is no reason why South Africa can’t win it (even though) there are some strong teams around. We’ve thought we’ve had the formula before, but it hasn’t worked out, but there’s no reason why this team can’t come up with the right strategy and perform at the right time and bring home the silverware,’ said the former Proteas skipper, who played 31 World Cup matches between 1996 and 2007.
In the ill-fated 1999 World Cup semi-final that broke the hearts of South African cricket fans at home and abroad, Pollock took a sensational 5-36 (econ 3.85) – three of which were caught behind by Mark Boucher – as South Africa bowled Australia out for a modest 213. Pollock scored 20 off 14 balls as the Proteas battled to reach the Aussies’ target, which saw last man Allan Donald run out without facing a ball with the scores tied.
The result meant Australia progressed to the final by virtue of the fact that they had beaten the Proteas in the Super Six stage.
‘I think 99 was probably the best performance we put in. Unfortunately, that tie in the semi-final meant we were knocked out, but going to the World Cup with South Africa was always special. We always had a team that had the potential to go all the way. It wasn’t like we were ever just making up the numbers, and I think that’s what makes it special – it’s almost like the Olympics of cricket,’ added Pollock.
South Africa and England play the opening match of the 2019 World Cup on 30 May at the Kennington Oval in London.
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