South Africa batsman Hashim Amla, who missed the one-day series against Sri Lanka earlier this year and also the Indian Premier League, stated that he had his time away and now he is hungrier than ever before to be back on the field.
"Things happen that you don't anticipate and I did not anticipate how things have gone recently. But I am a firm believer that when something happens, there is some good in it. I have had time away and now I am really looking back to wearing the green and gold again," ICC quoted Amla, as saying.
"I am hungrier than ever before, there is no doubt about that. I have been blessed to have this shirt for a while but the time off has made me want to come back stronger," he added.
The 36-year-old has already played twice in the World Cup (2011, 2015) and this will be his third appearance in the premier tournament. Amla will try to make the most of this World Cup as it will likely be his last chance of lifting the coveted trophy.
The Proteas will face England in the opening match of the quadrennial tournament and Amla is optimistic to face the top-ranked squad saying that they have done well against them. He also opined that even though there are fewer expectations from them, the team is confident of doing well.
"It is the best first game we could have asked for. We have played England recently and had some success against them, I have done well against them too. This year, you don't see the same big names and that is why the focus is not on us but that has some good in it," he said.
"There has not been much chat about us winning in comparison to the past but I don't think that played a part in how we performed. At the end of the day, we always gave our best and played to win. The fact that there has not been a lot of chat at this World Cup means there is less expectation but in the team we think we can do well," he added.
South Africa will compete with England in the opening match of the World Cup on May 30.
(With inputs from ANI)