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Legendary South Africa pace bowler Allan Donald has backed England to win the 2019 World Cup, which will be held in their backyard.
England were left embarrassed in the 2015 World Cup as they were knocked out of the tournament by Bangladesh, who subsequently qualified for the quarter-finals.
However, with England having established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in ODI cricket as of late, Donald believes that they could win their first-ever World Cup next year.
“I’d have to say watching England, I reckon in their own backyard they will be very tough to beat,” he told Press Association Sport as quoted by Sport24.
When asked about South Africa’s chances, Donald conceded that the Proteas’ hopes of winning their maiden World Cup trophy have been dented by AB de Villiers’ retirement.
De Villiers, regarded as one of the best batsmen South Africa ever produced, stunned the cricketing world when he announced his retirement from international cricket last year.
“Well we just lost one of our biggest assets in AB de Villiers,” Donald said. “South Africa will always challenge and get close to winning the World Cup. Losing him (AB), not to say that we won’t win the World Cup, but AB was just a massive loss.
“They will challenge, definitely. I don’t think they are totally out of it. But without AB de Villiers, with him in the team they would have had a huge chance.”