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Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Sports

Dhoni aims to emulate Dev

India captain Mahendra Dhoni would love nothing more than to emulate the feats of predecessor Kapil Dev and lead his country to World Cup glory at Lord's.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup launch in London, Dhoni said it would be a dream if he were to be lifting a trophy just as Kapil did when India won the World Cup proper at Lord's in 1983.

And Dhoni's side are likely to be one of the favourites for the shorter version having won the inaugural 20-over version in South Africa last year.

"Of course I would love to do that," said Dhoni. "But it's the team that makes a good captain and I like to distribute the pressure and responsibility around the whole team.

"It would be a dream to lift the trophy at Lord's but I don't want to look that far ahead and if it does happen it would be an all-round team effort."

India's triumph last year changed the attitude of their board to Twenty20 from one of apathy to rampant enthusiasm, with the creation of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) the most telling by-product of the national side's success

"Before the event last year no one really knew how it was going to work," Dhoni said in a statement ahead of the tournament launch at The Oval.

"People said the players wouldn't be taking it very seriously and it's true that at the start even the players were unsure about it."

However, he added: "It was a great tournament and a sweet moment when we won. It is one of the things I will cherish for the rest of my life."

But the wicketkeeper said the rise in Twenty20 did not mean an end to Test cricket.

"Test cricket is very different and has its own place. I don't see that changing and I am not worried about the future of Test cricket.

"People still see it as the top of the sport and it is so different from Twenty20 that I think it is safe.

"If there is one format that could suffer it is the 50-over game because it is more like Twenty20.

"It was brought in to make cricket quicker and more exciting but now Twenty20 has brought that to another level. It's over in three hours -- it is like a movie for the whole family to enjoy."

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