India have the potential to lift the World Cup
Former Test opener Aakash Chopra feels India have a great chance of lifting the Cricket World Cup 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 potential to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011," said Chopra on the sidelines of a book release -- `The IPL story: Cricket, Glamour and Big Money` -- penned by Abhishek Dubey, here today.
The batsman, however, said that the entire team and not just particular individuals will make the difference.
Talking about the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chopra, whose services have been hired by Rajasthan Royals for the fourth edition of cash-rich event, said, "The concept of IPL is great in itself. The format has provided youngsters a chance to rub shoulders with the best in the business."
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 up administrative roles but insisted that they should be given enough time to settle down and understand the nuances of managing the game.
"Players like Anil Kumble taking on administrative role augurs well for the game but we should give him time to settle down before he makes his presence felt," insisted Chopra.
Briefing the media on the occasion, Janta Party President Subramanian Swami said the country has been plagued by the increasing scams and corruption and hailed the effort of journalists to unearth the same.
Talking about the IPL and the serious interest of conflict which envelops its top bosses, Swami said, "The politicians need to be kept away from the game. There is a need to control the flow of money and its ill use."
The politician also emphasised on the need for the game to be administered by the cricketers, rather than by those who hardly have any idea about the sport.
"The administrators should have at least four years of experience at the practical aspect to run the sport," Swami insisted.
"I don`t think there is any game-changer as such. It will depends on the way the entire team performs on a given day."
Emphasising on the importance of a good start to the tournament, Chopra said, "The opening game will be crucial. The win against Bangladesh will set the momentum for the rest of the tournament."
India will take on co-hosts Bangladesh in the inaugural match of the World Cup in Dhaka.
Meanwhile, rating Sri Lanka as potential contenders, the 33-year-old Chopra said that they have a very good chance as they are playing on their home turf.
"Sri Lanka are a good side and they know their home conditions better than others. They will be a difficult team to 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 teams as they fight till the last ball.