Sri Lanka at best ever for World Cup: de Silva

COLOMBO, Feb 22, 2007 (AFP) – Former batting great Aravinda de Silva believes the current Sri Lankan side go into the World Cup with better chances of winning the title than their champion 1996 team. “I honestly feel this side have a better chance than we had in 1996. When you compare the eras, I feel this team have got a better combination. We didn’t have experience in 1996, but this team have,” de Silva told AFP.

Arjuna Ranatunga’s Sri Lankans stunned the world in 1996 when they won the Cup in the sub-continent after being considered underdogs, with de Silva scoring a match-winning century in the final against Australia.

Sri Lanka are in Group B with former champions India, Bangladesh and first-timers Bermuda, with the top two sides advancing to the next round of the Caribbean extravaganza.

“The bowling looks good. The batting has depth and fielding looks sharp. Things are in favour of us and if we don’t win this time, then it’ll take some time to do it. My money is on Sri Lanka,” said de Silva, 41.

“The conditions (in the West Indies) will suit our players and the combination we are going in with looks good. It’s the most experienced bowling outfit in the world and it has got va