<p style="margin: 0px 0px 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 12px; color: #666666; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 16.796875px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; background-color: transparent;">With the 2010 ICC World Cup Twenty20 (T20) just around the corner, a lot of expectation lies on the shoulders of the Proteas to do well. With Barbados, St Lucia and Guyana all hosting games, this will be the third edition of the tournament and runs from the 30th April to the 16th May.</strong>
Twenty20 is the fastest growing form of cricket, with two games a day in the same stadium, back to back and is renowned for the number of 6’s and 4’s scored. The first T20 was held in South Africa in 2007 and the second in England in 2009. Following this third tournament in May 2010, T20 will be held every two years.
There are 12 teams taking part in 2010, with the opening games of West Indies v Ireland and New Zealand v Sri Lanka. Like all the previous big tournaments South Africa are among the favourites, after India and Australia. The furthest SA has got in the past was the semifinals in 2009, against Pakistan who took the title. This year, South Africa will play India and Afghanistan. South Africa are in a very fortunate position with a crop of talented players in the team and some upcoming stars. But like Twenty20 cricket before, it’s not all about who has the best players, but more about the balance in the team as the current T20 champions Pakistan showed.
If we look at a few players in the South African team who can turn the game, Loots Bosman and AB de Villiers immediately spring to mind. Both are excellent stroke players with good eyes who can change a game in a matter of seconds. With two spin bowlers in the team, Johan Botha and Roelof van der Merwe, we have good variety with their accurate bowling. In the fielding department we are probably the best in the world and Graeme Smith is one of the best captains in world cricket as well as having an excellent reputation with the bat.
Fixtures 2 May: SA v India 5 May: SA v Afghanistan 13-14 May: Semi finals 16 May: Final
T20 FACTS – This is the first World Cup the Afghans have made it to as the team was only set up in 2001.
– It will be the second World Cup the West Indies has hosted in the last three years, having hosted the 50-over World Cup in 2007.
– The West Indies captain, Chris Gayle, is the only player in international T20 history to score a cebtury, having scored 117 against SA in 2007.