Former England skipper sees Black Caps challenging hosts for World Cup - 'You can no longer call them dark horses'

He's backing his own country to win it all but England great Mike Gatting has also warned the Black Caps could be a big threat at this year's Cricket World Cup.

Gatting believes England have never had a better chance to win the world cup than this year when the 50-over tournament kicks off in England on May 30.

It's something England have never managed to do despite reaching three finals.

But Gatting told The Cricketer in his tournament preview the home side are the big favourites as hosts and the top-ranked ODI team entering the event.

"England have the strongest side they have ever had, and the inclusion of the exciting Jofra Archer is only going to strengthen that," he said.

"England will not have a better opportunity to win it."

But Gatting doesn't expect the title to come easy, saying the 50-over game is a competitive format globally right now.

"One-day cricket is as good as it's ever been – it's quite incredible the way the format has blossomed again over the last few years – and it's difficult to say who will come out on top this summer."

One team Gatting feels could challenge England are the Black Caps, who he sees as a well-balanced side.

"I look at the squads and I do fancy New Zealand to do well though," he said.

"You can no longer call them dark horses as their players are so experienced.

"They play some great cricket, they always play as a team, and they are well led by Kane Williamson. Ross Taylor is also a fine batsman, and in Tim Southee and Trent Boult they have match-winning bowlers."

When questioned who Gatting had as his semi-finalists, the former England captain chose India and the West Indies to join England and New Zealand.

Source: 1 NEWS