10 Feb 2015

World Cup favourites a pointless exercise says de Villiers

6:25 pm on 10 February 2015

The South Africa captain A B de Villiers finds it a pointless exercise singling out favourites for the Cricket World Cup.

The Proteas play their final warmup match against New Zealand in Christchurch on Wednesday, ahead of their tournament opener against Zimbabwe in Hamilton on Sunday.

South Africa are among the tournament favourites but de Villiers says their history of never having made the final or winning a knockout game at the tournament shows why such tags are meaningless.

"I've never been a big fan of building that up too much," he said.

South Africa Cricket Captain A B de Villiers

South Africa Cricket Captain A B de Villiers Photo: Photosport

"We've been the favourites and it didn't work out for us. Then we went to another tournament and we weren't the favourites and it didn't work out for us (so) I'm not sure it's a title that deserves a lot of time and talking about but we certainly are one of the favourites and there's not hiding from that fact."

New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum is urging his players to embrace the public expectation surrounding the World Cup Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Meanwhile Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum is urging his side to embrace the public expectation of the home crowd leading into the tournament.

He said their good performances have over the past 18 months have created expectation and he's comfortable with that.

"We've had to work pretty hard to win back the public's confidence and support and I think it's not the just manner in which we play on the field but the way we try and carry ourselves off the field has probably been a big part in endearing ourselves to the public.

"We're excited at being able to go out there and test our skills and to do it in front of our home fans is something we're all looking forward to," he said.

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