Ramnaresh Sarwan, the West Indies batsman and veteran of his side's success in the 2004 Champions Trophy, believes that the current team can be repeat winners.
The tournament returns to England and Wales, where the West Indians beat the hosts almost nine years ago at The Oval in a low-scoring final.
Sarwan joined up with the West Indies party after spending the early part of the English season with Leicestershire, so he feels he is already acclimatised and ready for the Champions Trophy.
"I was fortunate to be here a little early so I’m basically already acclimatised," he confirmed. "It’s a great opportunity for us to do well as a team. I have been striking the ball well.
"I have spent a lot of time batting at the crease, which is a good sign for me, even though I don’t have the big scores to show for it. I was pleased with the way I was striking the ball in the nets and I will look to perform and contribute to the team’s success," Sarwan told WICB Media.
Aside from the 2004 tournament success, the West Indies were triumphant at the ICC World Twenty20 last year and Sarwan believes the team is capable of winning another global trophy.
"It would be a great achievement to win this tournament," he said. "We want to repeat that. When we won back in 2004 we came in as underdogs. We did really well in the T20 format to win in Sri Lanka last year and I believe we have a very sound squad for this tournament.
West Indies play Pakistan on 7th June in their opening match before meeting India on 11th June and South Africa three days later, and Sarwan is ready for the challenge that English conditions will produce.
"The conditions will play a part as well with the ball swinging and we will have to make the necessary adjustment with the bat. For the younger guys it will be vital that they get used to the conditions and be ready when the matches get started.
"It is important that you start off trying to play the ball as ‘late’ as possible," he added. "The good thing about it is that the outfields are pretty quick here, so even if you have sweepers out and you time the ball well enough it will probably go for four. You will get value for your strokes.
"The key is to give yourself a chance and try to ‘get in’ and just like everything else it gets easier. That will be the key...to keep wickets in hand at the top and we all know we have a lot of power at the end to capitalise, as we are able to clear the boundaries."
© Cricket World 2013
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