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It's advantage India at World T20: Zaheer

Former pace spearhead Zaheer Khan on Monday said the Indian cricket team’s proficiency in playing spin will make the side a firm favourite when it guns for a second World Twenty20 Championship title on home turf come March-April.

“I am sure India will come out with flying colours. Though the format is T20, it is to be played in the sub- continent. Spin can be a part of it and the ability to play spin well can be an advantage,” said the former left-arm pacer, who has retired from all forms of cricket except IPL.

Zaheer, an invitee at the event to extend the sponsorship tie-up between the ICC and MoneyGram for eight more years, said the dynamic nature of the Twenty20 format have ended up rubbing on to the ODIs as well. “There have been lot of changes which add excitement to the game. There have been a lot of innovations from the batters. On the whole the game has become dynamic. The impact of T20 can be seen in ODIs as well as in Test matches,” said the 37-year-old Zaheer who has retired after playing 92 Tests and 200 ODIs.

“Playing in the (ICC Cricket) World Cup is special. It’s right up there as in your career you play very few World Cups. Playing in front of the home crowd and winning it in 2011 makes it something special,” said the 2011 World Cup winner. ICC CEO Dave Richardson, who was also present in the function, said the governing body is aiming to cricket as popular as football worldwide.

“Cricket is played in 105 countries presently and if we include the West Indian countries as separate entities the figure should go up to 120. Sixteen teams will be seen in the World T20 Championship for which newcomer Oman has qualified. There are new faces to look forward to.”
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