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Pakistan good enough to win World Cup, says de Silva

COLOMBO: Former Sri Lanka captain Aravinda de Silva believes Pakistan have the firepower to win World Cup 2011.

The legendary batsman told a group of Pakistani reporters here at a local hotel that Shahid Afridi’s men will have to curb their tendency of making mistakes if they are to go all the way in the 14-nation tournament.

De Silva, 45, was speaking to the reporters at a reception hosted by Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka in the honour of the national cricket team.

“I think Pakistan are capable of winning the World Cup,” said De Silva, who was one of the architects of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup triumph. “Their team has some good players but what Pakistan needs is to have more consistency in their game. I think if they can do that then they will have a very good chance of winning the title,” he added.

De Silva, who scored 6361 runs from 93 Tests and also amassed 9284 runs from 308 One-day Internationals during an illustrious international career, stressed that there are no favourites in the World Cup.

“The results that we have seen so far in this tournament have made it clear that there are no favourites to win the World Cup,” he said.

“Any team that peaks at the right time and gives its best when it matters is going to win the title.”

The question that whether the one-day format will be able to survive the onslaught of the hugely-popular Twenty20 game has constantly been asked in recent times. Many believe that the success of World Cup 2011 will go a long way in saving the 50-over game.

De Silva believes that a number of exciting matches in this tournament have proved that there is no danger to the one-day format. “We have seen some really exciting matches in this World Cup and it’s apparent that cricket fans are really enjoying this competition. It also shows that the one-day format is still very popular,” he said.