Celebrated novelist and avid cricket fan Jeffrey Archer on Thursday joked that England will win the cricket World Cup in a keenly contested final against Ireland.
Archer, who was in the city for the launch of his latest book Only Time Will Tell, told mediapersons: "In this World Cup, the final will be played between England and Ireland and we will beat them in a keenly contested final."
Archer was seemingly poking fun at the English team which earlier lost to Ireland despite scoring 327 runs.
Initially livid at being asked if he was a cricket fan, Archer said: "Don't ask stupid things. I bet none of you here know that Sri Lanka has just broken the record of the highest opening partnership in a World Cup in their match against Zimbabwe a few minutes ago."
He also predicted that India will not progress beyond the quarter-finals.
Archer, on his fourth visit to India, was asked whether he had plans to write a novel based on India.
"You will have to live here for a lifetime to feel the nuances, the customs, and religions. You can't get them in a week or month. They need to be inculcated naturally," he replied.
He was also critical of the Indian transport system.
"My latest ambition is to be the transport minister of India. I have been here (India) for the fourth time in a row and it (transport system) doesn't seem to change," he said.
He also said Kolkata was not moving at the same pace as some of the other Indian cities.
"Every single word of my work is hand written. I get pleasure and satisfaction on seeing that my whole work is handwritten. I am not going to change ever," he said.
He said his life was as unpredictable as his novels, but he was lucky to have led a "wonderful life".
The novelist also revealed that he has an hourglass gifted by his wife which keeps him disciplined.
"Like you all, I am also very lazy and that hourglass of a thing keeps reminding me that I have to be disciplined, I cannot waste time lazing around," he said.
Only Time Will Tell is the first of a five-part series, The Clifton Chronicles, that spans a hundred years from 1920 to 2020, tracing the life of its protagonist Harry Clifton and the mystery surrounding his father's death.