Cricket

KP: Weather could make England favourites at World Cup

2018-12-14 09:35
Kevin Pietersen (Getty Images)

MARITZBURG-BORN cricket star Kevin Pietersen doesn’t have thrilling news for the Proteas in terms of next year’s World Cup to be hosted by England and Wales.

Pietersen made a brief visit to his alma mater, Maritzburg College, yesterday for the shooting of a documentary about his life by United Kingdom TV channel Sky Sports.

The aim of the documentary is to look at the former England skipper’s entire career, including his education in South Africa.

The 38-year-old, who retired from the game early this year, was interviewed by another former England cricket captain, Nasser Hussain.

South Africa will head to next year’s world showpiece with one aim — to end their hoodoo at the tournament in May. Despite having produced some of the best players in the world, the South African side are still to play in their first ever final.

The Proteas have reached the semi-finals of the competition on four occasions and the locals will be hoping that their men actually do them proud in the next edition by bringing the title home. However, the controversial Pietersen believes the weather in the two UK countries will play a big role in deciding who walks away with the top honours, but reckons England stand a good chance if the weather becomes cloudy during that time. “It’s going to be very weather conducive, so whoever deals with the weather I think is going to win the World Cup,” said Pietersen.

“If it’s a beautiful summer, it opens it up a lot to all the different teams, but if it’s overcast, cloudy and the ball starts to swing and seam, then England are definitely front runners.”

This means the Proteas have their work cut out for them and must hope for favourable weather during the tournament. Pietersen won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 with England when they defeated Australia by seven wickets in the West Indies.

South Africa will start their campaign at the World Cup against the hosts, England, on May 30.

Pietersen also spoke about how the standard of cricket has dropped, not just in South Africa but the whole world, as he believes that there are no more great players being produced.

“I think the world of cricket is actually suffering. I’ve done an interview recently, I don’t think the standard is what it used to be and I’m only talking six, seven, eight or nine years ago,” he said. “The standard was magnificent then with guys like [Kumar] Sangakkara, [Brett] Lee, Chris Gayle, [Dwayne] Bravo, Brian Lara and all these other great players. I don’t see many of them around anymore, Virat Kohli is probably the only global superstar in cricket right now. Ten years ago, there were great Australians that we used to play against, such as [Ricky] Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and all those guys. I mean, the world of cricket is suffering.”

• sithembiso.dindi@witness.co.za

Read more on:    proteas  |  kevin pietersen  |  cricket

 

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