Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Victoria eye off 'tremendous opportunity'

Victoria have made a positive start in India with victory in their first warm-up match but the coach Greg Shipperd expects a tough fight to progress past the group stage of the Champions League Twenty20. The team's international stars Cameron White, David Hussey and Peter Siddle join the squad on Thursday, a day before their opening game of the tournament, which features a first prize of US$2.5 million.

"We have a tough draw, but we know if we stick to our plans and routines and play at the level we can, we will be very competitive," Shipperd told the Herald Sun. "Some people may not be ranking this first tournament of the summer as seriously as us.

"But the sheer prize-money on offer and pluses for our team and for cricket in Victoria generally are enormous. It is a tremendous opportunity both for us as a team and individually. We have prepared well and aren't daunted by anything."

In their opening match on Friday, Victoria face Delhi Daredevils, the IPL side that was also coached by Shipperd this year, before taking on the Sri Lankan champions Wayamba. He has handed over the reins of the Daredevils to his assistant David Saker and Shipperd is firmly focused on guiding a Victorian side with a mix of youth and experience to success.

"The excitement and expectation for us all in India is really something to experience," he said. "We have a strong team here and there is a real sense of purpose among the group. While we are coming off an off-season, we had an excellent lead-up in Lismore and the early practices and trial games have produced some very promising results."

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