Pollock fancies South Africa's WC chances at home

Published: Friday, January 17, 2003, 20:36 [IST]
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Johannesburg: South African skipper Shaun Pollock on Thursday said he believed his squad stood a good chance of becoming the first ever side to win a cricket World Cup at home, but admitted that playing One-day games was "a bit of a lottery". "I have confidence in every single individual that we have in our squad, and that they are up for the event, that they can perform in any situation," Pollock said. "We have got a team that can go all the way," he told.

South Africa has had a good season, beating Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in both Tests and One-day Internationals. The wins, said Pollock, boosted the confidence of the South African team, which is now on top of the ICC Test rankings although the position has been viewed with some scepticism by other cricketing countries. ""We have had a good season on the field. An important part of any team's make-up is confidence.

I think we have gathered a lot throughout the three series against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan," he said. South Africa was to undergo a fitness training camp in the mountainous Drakensberg area next week, followed by a skills training camp in Cape Town and a couple of warm- up games before the tournament starts on February 8. South Africa plays the West Indies on February 9 at Newlands in Cape Town in the opening match. But Pollock admitted that even though South Africa will field a strong team - rated second favourite to win behind holders Australia - the players should guard against what he termed "surprises" by some of the lesser teams. "Any One-day game is always a bit of a lottery," he said.

Pollock added he hoped that top players like Australia's Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Brian Lara of the West Indies and Sri Lanka's Muthiah Muralitharan would be injury- free for the tournament. "From our point of view, we want to play against the best players from around the world and that they will be at the event. We hope that all those injured at the moment will have recovered in time," Pollock said. "You want to compete against the best, you want to beat the best," he added.

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