ipl news – baji999 app – IPL-Blessed SA20 Has Come At The Right Time For South African Cricket
The inaugural SA20 competition underway in South Africa will elevate junior Protea players to the next level, feels Faf Du Plessis and AB De Villiers.
New Delhi: Fourth in the current ICC men’s T20 International team rankings, South African cricket is banking on the influence of its inaugural SA20 competition to find the next generation of Protea players who can win an elusive World Cup.
If the inaugural Women’s Premier League team auction in India is any indication, there is no dearth of sponsors for the shortest format of the game.
Scheduled in March this year, the women’s version of the seven-billion-dollar worth IPL, has seen some unprecedented cashflow even before the tournament has begun.
It is thus great news for new players to come under the spotlight and make it big.
The SA20 can be considered an off-shoot of the IPL. Almost all the South African teams have connections with the top IPL franchises. Faf du Plessis and AB de Villers are probably two of the greatest connects between the two cricket properties.
South African cricket needs to improve on all fronts. Twenty20 is a format that demands skills and the best performers not only grab world-wide attention but big bucks too. De Villiers, who was a Royal Challengers Bangalore regular, and Du Plessis, still a pillar in the Chennai Super Kings squad, are among several South African players known for their T20 skills. They are legends in their own right and continue to inspire the younger generation.
Du Plessis sees the SA20 as a great opportunity for Protea players to be among the best. “It’s really important. You want to try and make a bigger pool of cricketers available for the national team.You need a healthy competition of players playing at a higher level, higher than the domestic game we currently have in South Africa. I think certainly for white-ball cricketers in this country, this is a huge moment,” Du Plessis said.
Established by Cricket South Africa, the SA20 is a franchise-based tournament, designed along the lines of the IPL. The inaugural edition has six teams and former South African captain Graeme Smith is the commissioner of the league. De Villiers believes that the way IPL elevated his game to the next level, the SA20 will do so for young South African players.
De Villiers was just 24 years old when he played in the inaugural IPL and was still finding his feet at international level. Now in his first stint as a television commentator for SuperSport, De Villiers is seeing first-hand the amount of young local talent South African cricket has to offer.
Cricket’s Mr 360 degrees believes the experience of playing with world renowned coaches such as Lance Klusener (Durban’s Super Giants), Stephen Fleming (Joburg Super Kings), Simon Katich (MI Cape Town), Graham Ford (Pretoria Capitals), JP Duminy (Paarl Royals) and Adrian Birrell (Sunrisers Eastern Cape) will elevate South Africa’s promising cricketers to the next level.
“It is difficult to explain the value of youngsters spending time with some of the best players and coaches in the world,” De Villiers said following the first half of the League matches. “I had that experience in 2008 in my very first IPL. I found myself in the same dressing-room as Glenn McGrath, Dan Vettori, Shoaib Malik, Viru Sehwag … the list goes on. The impact that had on my game was immense. You saw my game grow from 2008 onwards and I took it to the next level.And it was largely because of that. Spending time with experienced campaigners from different countries.”
Du Plessis continues to display his prowess playing T20 cricket around the world. Being a member of CSK, he is turning out for Joburg Super Kings in SA20. He is excited that South Africa finally have a T20 product that is world-class.
“I think it’s almost a non-negotiable in today’s cricket. It’s become such an important aspect of today’s T20 and the fact that we have a competition now that will pull all these international stars is tremendous.
It gives younger guys the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best players in the world, it will fast-track their learning and it will make the domestic system stronger. The tactical element of T20 is so important now. Your fate can be decided by how well or poorly you execute the tactical side of the game,” Du Plessis, who has retired from international cricket, said.
With IPL franchises backing the South African event, T20 cricket is now getting the direction and publicity it deserves in a nation that has often been rocked by racial politics in management and team selection. It will also make CSA financially stronger and that’s key to overall growth. Ask BCCI.