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Viv, Walsh back Windies to win WC

The cricket greats back West Indies to become the first home team to win the World Cup.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2007 15:40 IST

Cricket greats Sir Vivian Richards and Courtney Walsh back West Indies to become the first home team to win the World Cup starting in three weeks.

"I have always said we have a very good chance of winning this World Cup. We have assembled a team that is good enough to compete at this level," Richards said at the reopening of Kensington Oval. "There are so many things for them to motivate themselves for. No team has ever hosted a World Cup and won it so that is a great opportunity. Winning it as a West Indies unit is collectively good for the whole region, and I believe we stand a very good chance." Richards featured in West Indies' victories in the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, both in London.

Walsh, who bowled for West Indies for 17 years, played in three World Cups, in which the team's best performance was reaching the 1996 semifinals.

He gave Windies "a big up" as it prepares for a camp in Jamaica this coming week.

"I'm a true supporter of the West Indies team and I think we have picked a young, exciting crop of players who will do us proud," he said. "I don't just believe they will do well, I believe they have what it takes to win the World Cup. "The camp in Jamaica will serve a useful purpose. A lot is resting on their shoulders, but we have the right formula at the right time, in the right place."

The World Cup will be held in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Kitts, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago from March 13 to April 28.

First Published: Feb 19, 2007 11:02 IST