Kevin Pietersen wants England in ICC World Cup 2019 semis as birthday gift

England face a herculean task of winning both their remaining matches against tournament's hot favourites India and New Zealand.

Kevin Pietersen wants England in ICC World Cup 2019 semis as birthday gift
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Kevin Pietersen turned 39 on Thursday and the former England captain wished that the hosts at least make it to the knockouts of the ongoing 2019 World Cup as a birthday gift for him.

After underdogs Pakistan pulled off an unexpected six-wicket victory against New Zealand on Wednesday, hosts England face a herculean task of winning both their remaining matches against tournament's hot favourites India and New Zealand.

Though the showpiece event is approaching the business end, the two places for the semi-finals still remain unclear as both Bangladesh and Pakistan have seven points from seven games while England have eight from seven games.

After the Green Brigade's astounding victory over the Kiwis, Pietersen tweeted: "It's my birthday today & the only present I want this year is for England to at least qualify for the bloody semis, so I don't look like a real tit... (sic)!"

Earlier on June 20, moments after Bangladesh scored 333/8 against Australia in their World Cup encounter, Pietersen had said that the Aussies should go home and prepare for the Ashes and the 2019 World Cup trophy should be handed to England.

However, a couple of games down the line, not only have Australia qualified for the semi-finals, but also England were left in a spot as they must win both their remaining games to qualify for the semis. The situation for the hosts worsened after Sarfaraz Ahmed's side also registered a win to make the tournament even more interesting.

Coming into the 2019 edition of the World Cup, England were considered favourites and all-rounder Ben Stokes had told IANS that the tag had been earned with consistent performances over the years. But with seven of the nine games done with, the picture doesn't look too bright for the Three Lions.