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Kevin Pietersen backs England for outside chance of World Cup glory

Pietersen believes England could surprise people at the World Cup. Photo: PA

Exiled England batsman Kevin Pietersen believes his former team mates can win the World Cup if they play with freedom even though their dreadful record in the last five tournaments suggests otherwise.

Since reaching the final of the 1992 World Cup, where they lost to Pakistan, England's form at the tournament is the worst of the frontline cricketing nations.

But Pietersen, who scored 575 World Cup runs, told the Daily Telegraph ahead of England's World Cup opener against Australia in Melbourne on Saturday that a lack of expectation could work in their favour.

Pietersen scored 575 World Cup runs. Credit: PA

"I really do believe they have an outside chance of winning this World Cup," Pietersen said.

"They can play with freedom because nobody really expects them to win the tournament and this should be reflected in positivity throughout their batting.

"England have struggled in World Cups for 20 years because we have played directly after an Ashes and have been mentally shot. There are no excuses this time."

Tune into ITV for Cricket World Cup highlights at 10:35pm on Saturday 14th February.