AB de Villiers picks India and Pakistan among his four favourites for ICC World Cup

Sudhir Gupta 16/03/2019
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ABD has picked his favourites for the 2019 World Cup.

Former South Africa stalwart AB de Villiers as picked India and Pakistan among his four favourites for the upcoming ICC World Cup in England.

The 35-year-old will not be pulling on the Proteas jersey in the World Cup this time after announcing his shock retirement from international cricket last year.

While de Villiers believes South Africa will be dark horses for the competition, he has opted to go with England, India, Australia and Pakistan as his four favourites in the World Cup.

“The World Cup is a tough tournament. I have played in three of them and it’s never easy. You always feel like you’ve got a good squad, but once the tournament starts you very quickly understand that there are a lot of teams that are there to win it and have the ability to do so,” de Villiers told Sport24.

“I do believe South Africa have a chance, like we did at any other World Cup, because we are a world-class team with plenty of match-winners. The Proteas are certainly in the running, but I won’t say they are the favourites to be honest with you.

India and Pakistan have ABD's stamp of approval.

India and Pakistan have ABD’s stamp of approval.

“India and England are looking strong, Australia have won five World Cups in the past and Pakistan claimed the Champions Trophy in the UK two years ago. Those four teams are probably the favourites.”

The South African will now link up with Virat Kohli in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Royal Challengers Bangalore and is looking forward to playing alongside the India stalwart.

“Virat’s performances over the last while have been incredible and I can’t see it stopping very soon. I have played with him for eight years now in the IPL and you can never take the class out of the guy,” he said.

“I see lots of similarities between myself and Virat. We are both fighters and don’t enjoy losing, we love batting together and taking the game away from teams.”

Royal Challengers Bangalore open their IPL campaign on March 23 against defending champions Chennai Super Kings.

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Will take time to recover from shock of Christchurch mosque attacks, says Tamim Iqbal

Waseem Ahmed 16/03/2019
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Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal.

Bangladesh stalwart Tamim Iqbal believes it will take some for his team-mates to recover from the shock of their narrow escape from death during the horrific Christchurch mosque attacks.

The terrorist attack by a lone gunman on two Christchurch mosques on Friday claimed 49 lives with Bangladesh’s players having a close brush.

17 members of the Bangladesh test squad including Tamim were on the way to Masjid al Noor mosque in a bus when the attack unfolded. The team’s bus has just arrived at the mosque when the terror attack began before it was turned around sensing danger.

Following the attacks, the third and final Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh which was scheduled to begin on Saturday was called off. After some swift arrangements, the tourists headed back to Dhaka on Saturday.

“It will certainly take some time for us to get out of it (the state of shock) after the experience we had here,” Tamim was quoted as saying by AFP.

“It is better that we are returning… because everyone’s family is worried. I just hope after returning home we can overcome it (trauma) with the passing of time.”

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called for better security protocols for any future overseas tours undertaken by the national team in the wake of the incident.

“In future, whenever we send our cricket team abroad we will do that after examining and reviewing the security matters of the host countries,” the Bangladesh Prime Minister was quoted as saying by Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS).

Her views were echoed by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief executive Nizamudin Chowdhury.

“Unfortunate we did not see any visible security protocol,” Chowdhury told reporters in Dhaka.

“We are not sure what their security system is. But when two countries sign a memorandum of understanding at national level security is always mentioned.

“We will set up a minimum security standard for future. Once it is assured only then we will go, otherwise not.”

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South Africa v Sri Lanka LIVE: Hosts aiming to complete 5-0 clean sweep

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South Africa are looking for a 5-0 whitewash.

South Africa and Sri Lanka lock horns at Newlands, Cape Town in the fifth and final ODI between the two sides.

The hosts lead the five-match series 4-0 and will be looking to inflict a whitewash after having been handed a shock defeat in the preceding Test series.

The tourists, meanwhile, will be searching for a morale-boosting win ahead of the upcoming three-match T20 series.

Can Sri Lanka avert a 5-0 clean sweep? Find out by following the ball-by-ball updates from Cape Town below.

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