India have the potential to lift the World Cup: Chopra

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) Former Test opener Aakash Choprafeels India have a great chance of lifting the Cricket WorldCup for the second time during the forthcoming mega-event,starting from February 19 to be played in the sub-continent.

"I am an optimist and I believe India have the potentialto win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011," said Chopra on thesidelines of a book release -- ''The IPL story: Cricket,Glamour and Big Money'' -- penned by Abhishek Dubey, heretoday.

The batsman, however, said that the entire team and notjust particular individuals will make the difference.

"I don''t think there is any game-changer as such. It willdepends on the way the entire team performs on a given day."

Emphasising on the importance of a good start to thetournament, Chopra said, "The opening game will be crucial.

The win against Bangladesh will set the momentum for the restof the tournament."

India will take on co-hosts Bangladesh in the inauguralmatch of the World Cup in Dhaka.

Meanwhile, rating Sri Lanka as potential contenders, the33-year-old Chopra said that they have a very good chance asthey are playing on their home turf.

"Sri Lanka are a good side and they know their homeconditions better than others. They will be a difficult teamto beat at home," Chopra said.

The right-hander, who played for India six-years ago,also said that Australia and South Africa will be tough teamsas they fight till the last ball.

Talking about the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chopra,whose services have been hired by Rajasthan Royals for thefourth edition of cash-rich event, said, "The concept ofIPL is great in itself. The format has provided youngsters achance to rub shoulders with the best in the business." (MORE)PTI SNK CM

Asked whether it has taken a beating with all the corruption allegations surrounding the league, Chopra said,"As a cricketer I would say to some extent, yes."

However, the former ''Knight Rider'' reiterated that the"game will get even better" in the future.

The batsman also welcomed cricketers taking upadministrative roles but insisted that they should be givenenough time to settle down and understand the nuances ofmanaging the game.

"Players like Anil Kumble taking on administrativerole augurs well for the game but we should give him timeto settle down before he makes his presence felt," insistedChopra.

Briefing the media on the occasion, Janta PartyPresident Subramanian Swami said the country has been plaguedby the increasing scams and corruption and hailed the effortof journalists to unearth the same.

Talking about the IPL and the serious interest ofconflict which envelops its top bosses, Swami said, "Thepoliticians need to be kept away from the game. There is aneed to control the flow of money and its ill use."

The politician also emphasised on the need for the gameto be administered by the cricketers, rather than by those whohardly have any idea about the sport.

"The administrators should have at least four years ofexperience at the practical aspect to run the sport," Swamiinsisted.

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