AB de Villiers predicts 2023 World Cup semi-finalists 

Former South African batting maestro AB de Villiers has made a bold prediction about the semi-finalists for the upcoming ODI World Cup in India. De Villiers shared his insights during an engaging Q&A session on his YouTube channel.

The 2023 World Cup, scheduled to be held in India from October 5 to November 19, has already stirred excitement among fans, with anticipation building as to who will seize the coveted trophy. Reflecting on past World Cup winners, De Villiers highlighted the remarkable trend that only host nations have clinched the ODI World Cup title of late. India etched their name on the trophy in 2011, while Australia and England followed suit in 2015 and 2019 respectively.

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AB de Villiers names his semi-finalists for 2023 World Cup

During Q&A session, De Villiers revealed his four teams for the semi-finals: India, England, Australia and South Africa. He added South Africa as his fourth semi-finalist, expressing his conviction in the Proteas' capabilities to make a significant impact and trump the likes of Pakistan and New Zealand to the fourth spot.

De Villiers admitted that his prediction could raise eyebrows given that three of the four teams were non-Asian, but stuck by his instinct. “I’ve gone with three non-sub-continent teams there, which is very risky. But I am going to stick to it because I think the wickets will be good. I don’t think the World Cup is going to see bad wickets during the duration of the tournament,” he said. 

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De Villiers went a step further in his predictions, envisaging a final showdown between two titans: India and England. 

Do South Africa stand a chance?

The spotlight also predictably turned to South Africa's chances in the upcoming tournament. The Proteas, despite their immense talent and historical presence in the cricketing arena, have never secured the World Cup. The disappointment of the 2019 edition, where they failed to make it to the semi-finals, remains fresh. However, this year presents a different narrative.

Kagiso Rabada, the dynamic pacer and leader of South Africa's bowling attack, echoed De Villiers' sentiments. He stressed that the team is unfazed by external distractions and that they were determined to bring the trophy home.

An U19 World Cup winner, Rabada has previous taste of success in an ICC tournament, unlike most of his teammates. The pace bowler confessed that the desire to win the World Cup is a powerful motivator as they prepare for the showdown in India.

Kagiso Rabada and AB de Villiers discuss South Africa chances at the World Cup
Photo by Icon sport

The question on everyone's minds is whether South Africa truly has the potential to break their World Cup drought. Despite their previous setbacks and last-ditch qualification to the tournament, this year's circumstances might work in their favor.

With fewer expectations weighing them down, the Proteas have an opportunity to play with a renewed sense of freedom and with a strong line-up at their disposal, breaking the trend isn’t entirely out of the question.

With a legacy of reaching the semi-finals four times and a hunger for redemption, South Africa's journey in the 2023 Cricket World Cup promises to be an exhilarating one. But will they make the final?

Will De Villiers’ prediction about the four semi-finalists come true? The World Cup is almost here and with several equal teams competing for the final prize, the excitement is set to hit a peak.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India