We can win World Cup this time: Muralitharan

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Colombo, Feb 10 (PTI) Sri Lankan spin legend MuttiahMuralitharan today posed faith in his teammates to repeat the1996 World Cup winning feat as the strong sub-continentalcontenders geared up for the quadrennial extravaganza.

Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup under the leadership ofArjuna Ranatunga and ended-runners up in the last edition inthe West Indies.

Muralitharan is confident that what the team could not doin 1999, 2003 and 2007 can be done this time around.

"The day we won the cup in 1996 was the happiest day. Itis because of that our cricket has come this far. It''s been 15years since 1996 and we can''t dwell in the past. The teams aredifferent. You can never compare generations.

"In 2003 we entered semis and in 2007 we entered finals.

We had good teams but we could not win the cup. But this teamI think we have a chance," the most successful Test spinnerthat the game has ever seen, said.

Sri Lanka''s first and only title triumph came when itco-hosted the mega event and since this time around also theyare playing hosts, captain Kumar Sangakkara says it will workto their advantage.

"I think every World Cup is a great opportunity to win itno matter where you play. This one playing in our neck of thewoods probably gives us a slighter edge than the other teams,"the left-handed batsman said.

However, Sri Lanka has two new venues for the World Cupand changes have also been made to the pitch at Premadasastadium.

The Lankans have not had access to the stadiums becausethe construction work is still not complete and they would nothave much of an idea about the nature of strips.

However, Sangakkara was not worried on that front.

"There is no point in us being concerned about thatbecause our mental approach has to be, regardless of gettingan experience on the wickets, there is a World Cup to beplayed and played well," Sangakkara said.

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