World Cup: Sir Ian Botham says England could go all the way in tournament
Eoin Morgan's men could challenge for World Cup glory
Last Updated: 11/02/15 7:56am
Sir Ian Botham thinks England stand a good chance of lifting the ICC World Cup.
Eoin Morgan's side face co-hosts Australia and New Zealand and also tackle Sri Lanka in the group stages but Botham sees no reason why England can't go a long way in what he thinks is a 'wide open' tournament.
England thrashed the West Indies by nine wickets in their opening warm-up match in Sydney on Monday to maintain their momentum since Morgan took over the captaincy.
The Sky Sports cricket pundit said: "England are improving with every game - they could go all the way but so could a host of other teams.
"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.
"But there is no reason why England can't get to the semi-finals."
England play their final warm up clash on Wednesday against Pakistan before kicking off their campaign against favourites Australia in Melbourne on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 2HD.
Botham added: "The first match is a real acid test for England to see how far they have come but even if they lose it's not a disaster.
"Australia are the favourites, they have beaten England three times in the Tri-Nations, and are playing in their home conditions - but they are not without their own problems.
"James Faulkner is carrying an injury and if he's out it will be a massive blow. There is also the ongoing situation with Michael Clarke."
Despite Australia being made strong favourites by the bookies, Botham feels co-hosts New Zealand are the big danger.
"I've fancied New Zealand for a long time. They have a strong all-round side and home advantage against Australia could be crucial," added the former England all-rounder.