Former sports stars predict summer success
A summer of English sporting success is on the horizon according to a trio of cricket, rugby and tennis legends.
Sir Ian Botham says he expects the England cricket side to win the Ashes “in style” and is refusing to rule out a whitewash should the conditions be favourable, while former Grand Slam tennis champion Goran Ivanisevic is tipping Andy Murray to win this year’s Wimbledon.
In addition, Scottish rugby legend Gavin Hastings is predicting a British and Irish Lions victory over Australia in the upcoming test series.
The three men are all Unibet ambassadors and were offering their opinions at the launch of the online operator’s new UK sportsbook.
Looking ahead to this summer’s Ashes, cricketing great Botham was confident of English success.
“England will win and I expect them to win in style,” he said.
“If it’s a British summer then we have a chance of a whitewash – England are a very good team and it could happen.”
Former Wimbledon champion Ivanisevic says he expects a fully fit Andy Murray to triumph in this year’s tournament following his recent Olympic and US Open successes.
“My tip for Wimbledon has got to be Murray,” he said.
“He has been ready to win it for the past three or four years and last year he came very close.
“Winning the US Open and the Olympics will help – he won’t feel as much pressure as in previous years, although he will still feel some pressure.
“This could very well be his year, as long as he gets over his injury problems.
“But even if it isn’t, I still definitely back him to win it within the next three years.”
Gavin Hastings, who was part of the Lions squad which beat Australia 2-1 in 1989, is predicting a similar outcome this time round, especially if the tourists can win the battle of the forwards.
“I expect the Lions to go 1-0 up after battering and bruising the Aussies,” he said.
“The Aussie flair will keep them in it to level at 1-1 but we’ll sneak the final test to take it 2-1.
“The squad [head coach] Warren Gatland has picked shows he wants to smash the Aussies up front and dominate the opposition forwards.
“Unless we do dominate up front it’s going to be a lot harder than many people expect but I’m still confidently predicting a Lions win.”