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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report

Sir Viv offers to help India

March 29, 2007 14:59 IST

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West Indies batting great Viv Richards has offered to assist struggling India after their shock first-round elimination at the World Cup last week.

"I would certainly like to help India in this aspect of their preparation," the former West Indies captain wrote in a syndicated column on Thursday.

"I have always enjoyed a challenge as a player and would enjoy the challenge of instilling self-belief and confidence in a group of players as talented and promising as the Indians."

Winners in 1983 and runners-up in the last edition, India crashed out in the Caribbean after losing two out of three group matches, to Bangladesh and former champions Sri Lanka.

"I would not blame the team management for this debacle, but there has to be some reason why a team as supremely talented as India's does not achieve more success," he wrote.

"The reasons have less to do with talent and potential and more to do with mental strength."

Irate fans in the cricket-crazy country have demanded the axe fall on captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell, but Richards urged fans not to judge the team's ability on the basis of three games.

"I remember the West Indies were devastated when we lost the World Cup final in 1983," he added.

"That is why we came in full force and with great intent to win when we toured India later that year," he said of the 5-0 rout of India in the one-dayers.

"We needed to prove to the world, and, more importantly, to ourselves that we were the best team in the world."

The seven-week World Cup, the first to be played in the Caribbean, culminates in the Barbados final on April 28.

The Cup: The Complete Coverage

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