AB de Villiers says New Zealand ranks among World Cup favourites

WELLINGTON, New Zealand _ South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers says co-host New Zealand ranks among the favourites to win next year’s Cricket World Cup.

De Villiers told a news conference Wednesday, on his team’s arrival in New Zealand for a series of three one-day internationals, that familiarity with local conditions would make New Zealand hard to beat.

He told reporters “I’d call them one of the favourites. We know what they’re capable of, and especially in these kind of conditions. They must be very motivated to do well.”

The series between New Zealand and South Africa begins next Tuesday in Tauranga. South Africa won 3-0 when the teams last played a one-day series in New Zealand but New Zealand beat the Proteas in South Africa last year.

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