'I am hungry to score runs again at the top' - Shah
Ravindu Shah is not only a gifted batsman but has a knack for scoring runs on the big competitive stage and he relishes a return to the World Cup, eight years after featuring in the run-getters list headed by Rahul Dravid in the 1999 World Cup in England.
Only three months ago, the 34-year-old batsman was not sure whether he would be fit enough to play cricket let alone be selected for his third World Cup appearance after being sidelined for over two years with a serious knee injury.
Shah puts his strengths down to a positive mind and dedication to the game that kept him going through the hard times. "I get inspired by new challenges," said Shah, who signalled his return to international cricket during the one-day triangular series in Mombasa in January.
"I am hungry to score runs again at the top," he added. Shah made an unbeaten 113 for his maiden ODI century against Scotland as Kenya also made a winning return in the series where Canada were also involved.
A regular opener for Kenya, Shah has dropped a place down to third place in the batting order since his return and is likely to partner Steve Tikolo to add more depth in the middle in the Caribbean.
Since making his breakthrough in 1998, he has scored 1425 runs in the 53 matches he has featured averaging 27.94. That included a brilliant 46 against Australia in the Super Six stage of the 2003 World Cup at Kingsmead.
Shah said he was disappointed about the lack of international exposure for Kenyans, saying that players like himself are passing the prime of the lives having played so few internationals compared to other players from the Test-playing nations.
"When you compare the Australians on how much they have played and how much we have played there is a big difference," he said. "By the time this players reach 35, 34 or 33 they would have played nearly 300 to 400 ODIs but when you look at the Kenyan team we started at the same time 10 years ago and we have played between 60 to 70 matches. I believe we still have a lot of cricket in us."
Shah, who toured the West Indies with the Kenya team in 2004, said he expected tough and challenging conditions in the Caribbean but believes the Kenyans have an advantage to have an insider in Roger Harper, the former West Indies allrounder as coach.
Cricket runs deep in the Shah family. Ravindu's father played school and club cricket as his two elder brothers - one of whom went on to play for East Africa.