ICL: Indian Cricket League

Twenty20 launched in Johannesburg


The Twenty20 World Championship was officially launched in Johannesburg on Thursday at a joint event between ICC and Cricket South Africa (CSA). The 13-day tournament begins on September 11, when South Africa play West Indies at the Wanderers, and concludes with the final - back in Johannesburg - on September 24.

“It is indeed an honour for Cricket South Africa to host the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship, making history in doing so,” said CSA president Norman Arendse. “ICC has shown its confidence in South Africa’s ability to host world-class events after the 2003 World Cup.

“The fact that the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup will also be held in South Africa shows the international community’s faith in South Africa hosting major sporting events.

“It is however sad to note that whilst the Twenty20 was awarded to South Africa when Percy Sonn was president of ICC, we have since witnessed his passing with great sadness. The [tournament] will be dedicated to his memory.”

Three venues will host matches - the Wanderers, Kingsmead and Newlands - and the final is being played on Heritage Day, where South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture.

Ray Mali, the interim ICC president, said: “I am looking forward to the [Championship] with a mix of pride and excitement. Pride because it is taking place in my home country of South Africa and I know we will do a great job of hosting the event and showcasing the game in the best possible light. And excitement because the event marks a first for cricket - the first time this format of the game will have been played on a truly global scale.

Tickets are already selling fast with the opening match, both semi-finals and the final already sold out although more tickets may become available. The domestic version of the game, Pro20, has been a huge success in South Africa with record crowds around the country.

Steve Elworthy, the tournament director said: “We are in the final implementation stages and preparations are progressing extremely well. Expectations of this event are ever increasing and the public are responding.

“The launch was fantastic and if this is what we are to expect for the duration of the tournament, then everybody who experiences a match, on TV or at the stadium will be truly entertained.”

Source:Cricket News

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