With less than nine months to go for the 2019 World Cup, former South African skipper AB de Villiers has picked his favourites for the ICC event, scheduled to be held in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.
De Villiers, who announced a shocking retirement from international cricket in May this year, believes that the Proteas can leave years of disappointment behind and clinch the title next year. He also named India and England as the leading contenders to win the marquee event.
“I think the Proteas are looking good for the World Cup. They have had a great series win against Australia, India and England are the other two teams that I feel have a good shot at the title. The bowlers look exceptional but we will be needing in-form batsmen to travel to England,” De Villiers said while speaking to CricketNext.
ABD also denied the rumours regarding his international comeback which resurfaced in media during his participation in the ongoing Mzansi Super League (MSL).
“I am extremely happy, I feel a lot of happiness in my heart and that’s important. My relationships with my wife, my kids, my parents, my brothers are the most important things in my life & that’s exceptionally well in the last few years. So, I am a very happy man,” he asserted.
De Villiers is the captain of Tshwane Spartans in the MSL.
“I am excited, the Mzansi Super League at Home. It’s great that our home tournament is taking off & I am very proud of it. There are so many good players around the world playing in this tournament. Everyone (team) is looking good. Proteas are coming back. That will up the skill of the tournament as well. I believe it will help South African cricket development and give youngsters incredible exposure to play with some of the world superstars,” he added.
“Starting from the MSL till the end of the World Cup in 2019, there will be eight to nine months or almost 300 days of exciting cricket, which includes over 25 Test matches, ODIs & T20Is, involving all the top sides in the world. Leagues will only expose more talents to the global level. It will hopefully make the game healthier,” De Villiers concluded.