Batsman believes South Africa have made their own – something he wants to see them set in stone with victory this summer
Glamorgan left-hander Colin Ingram has tipped his native South Africa for ICC Champions Trophy success this summer.
Ingram, who hit a career-best 142 against Essex at the weekend, turned out for South Africa when the Champions Trophy last came to British shores in 2013.
Glamorgan’s Stadium will play host to four matches in June as the crème-de-la-crème of international cricket bring their A-game to England and Wales, for what is expected to be the most exciting Champions Trophy to date, with no total seeming out of reach.
The 50-over game has proven to be quite the revolution for international cricket, and is a format Ingram believes South Africa have made their own – something he wants to see them set in stone with victory this summer.
The South African side is currently ranked as the number one side in the world ahead of Australia with England down in fifth and he has pinpointed the likes of Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers as the key men to propel his country towards the trophy.
“I’m massively excited for this year’s Champions Trophy. I see it as a mini-World Cup and it’s a great bridge between World Cups,” said Ingram, who joined Glamorgan in 2015.
“It’s fast and furious cricket and you need to start winning games very early. All the sides hold the tournament in high regard, because it shows where you are at with your ODI cricket.
“It’s such an important tournament on the calendar, no matter what side you play for.
“I rate South Africa’s chances really highly. I think we’ve got an organised side with some really big players back from injury and available again.
“With the likes of guys like Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers, I really like the brand of cricket they are playing at the moment, so I think they can do well.
“Obviously, my international cricket days are over now, but I still follow the side closely and I would really like to see them get off the board.
“Over the last couple of years, trophies have been a bit barren recently, so I want to see them do well and go on to win it.”
South Africa reached the semi-finals of the Champions trophy four years ago, before England triumphed by seven wickets to book their spot in the final – where they eventually succumbed at the hands of champions India.
Ingram played a pivotal role in their journey to the last four before stepping back from the international scene later that year, but he’s only too confident Welsh fans will give the current crop of cricketing talent the welcome they deserve.
“I was fortunate to be part of a Champions Trophy that was in the UK and it was a great event, and a tournament that I thoroughly enjoyed,” he said.
“Cricket is supported massively in Cardiff, and we get great crowds in for all ODI games down here.
“I think it’s fantastic to see international cricket come to Wales and it is received really well, so the people of the city are so excited to see it come back.
“I was fortunate to play here against the West Indies a couple of years ago and it was a great atmosphere, and I know people really enjoy supporting international cricket here.”
The ICC Champions Trophy 1-18 June will see the best of the best compete in Cardiff this summer. Tickets available at icc-cricket.com/tickets