Allan Donald, the South African pace legend, has backed hosts England to go the distance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
“If ever they have a chance to win one, it’s definitely now,” Donald told Sky Sports News on Wednesday 30 May, on the sidelines of an event in London to mark a year before the start of CWC 2019.
Hailing the “aggressive” brand of cricket played under Eoin Morgan, he said they would be formidable in home conditions.
“The way they take on one-day internationals now it's a different England from the one I've seen.
"I'll be honest, given what I faced back in the day, I wouldn't have thought they could get to this point. But there's something about them that I like.”
Donald, however, was more measured about his home nation South Africa’s chances. One of the team’s best chances was in 1999, when they required one run from four deliveries in the semifinal against Australia. But Donald’s mix-up with Lance Klusener only resulted in a run-out, and crushed that dream.
This time too, the team would challenge, but had their task cut out to find a replacement for the recently retired AB de Villiers, Donald felt.
"Well, we just lost one of our biggest assets in AB de Villiers," he said at a panel discussion at the same event.
"South Africa will always challenge and get close to winning the World Cup … Not to say that we won't win the World Cup, but AB was just a massive loss.”
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales starts on 30 May with England taking on South Africa at The Oval.