Shiv is upbeat

A confident Shivnarine Chanderpaul
believes the embattled West Indies can win the World Twenty20 Championship when
it bowls off later this month in the Caribbean in Guyana.

The veteran left-hander said home
advantage, along with crowd support, were two crucial factors which he expected
to generate confidence in the regional side.

He said: “I am confident we
can win the World Cup. We have a good chance knowing full well we are at home
and familiar with the pitches and then home crowd support will all help us to
beat the rest of the world and come out as champions next month.”

West Indies were good enough to
reach the semi-finals of the tournament in England last year, when Chanderpaul,
35, played a key role in helping the squad advance to the final four.

A former West Indies skipper,
Chanderpaul said:

“We
have a balanced team, and once we play to our true potential, we have an
excellent chance of having the trophy stay here.”

West Indies have been drawn in
Group D of the tournament at the National Stadium at Providence alongside
England and Ireland in Georgetown.

They will open their campaign
against qualifiers Ireland in a day-night encounter on April 30.

The squad will use the Jamaica
Cricket Festival as preparation over the next two weeks, a move Chanderpaul
disagrees with.

“I think we should have been
in Guyana rather than in Jamaica. Guyana’s pitches are quite low compared with
Jamaica pitches, but we still have to start focusing hard and concentrate on our
game.

He has represented West Indies in
123 Test matches, 256 One-Day Internationals, and 16 T20s, and is the most
experienced player in the team.

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