FORMER Test captain Sir Ian Botham believes England possess the armoury to claim their first-ever World Cup title during a wide-open competition Down Under.
After an opening clash against co-hosts Australia in Melbourne on Saturday, England also face the much-fancied New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland in Pool A.
England have failed to find consistent fluency in the one-day format of the game since winning 10 consecutive matches and surging to the top of the international rankings in 2012, although Botham insists Eoin Morgan’s side pose a threat.
“England are improving with every game, they could go all the way but so could a host of other teams,” he said. “I think you can rule out India and Pakistan, they are struggling, so for me it will be the other seeded sides who will be fighting it out. I don’t think this tournament will throw up too many big surprises.
“Teams only need to win two matches and they are effectively through. After that tactics might come into it as they look for the best route into the closing stages.
“There is no reason why England can’t get to the semi-finals.”