South African pace legend Allan Donald has backed No.1-ranked 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 was quoted as saying by Sky Sports News on Wednesday, on the sidelines of an event to mark a year before the start of CWC 2019.

Hailing the “aggressive” brand of cricket played under Eoin Morgan, he said that it 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. However, there’s something about them that I like,” he said.

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Donald, however, was circumspect about South Africa’s chances, more so, after the recent retirement of its star batsman A.B. de Villiers.

“Well, we just lost one of our biggest assets in A.B. de Villiers. 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 A.B. was just a massive loss,” he said.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales starts on May 30 with England taking on South Africa at The Oval.