World T20 blasts off

THERE cannot be a more picturesque backdrop to a cricket World Cup than the Caribbean.

THERE cannot be a more picturesque backdrop to a cricket World Cup than the Caribbean.

But the 12 teams taking part in the third edition of the ICC World Twenty20, will be focused only on their search to become world champions in the shortest form of the game, starting today.

Having the honour of playing first up today (play begins at 7pm SA time) are New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Led by Daniel Vettori, the Kiwis have a balanced look to their side and in Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum they have a couple of big hitters.

They managed a comfortable win against Ireland in a warm-up game earlier this week, but Sri Lanka, with the wizardry of Muttiah Muralitharan in their ranks, will be a different class.

The second game today sees the hosts West Indies taking on minnows Ireland (11pm).

The first match-up tomorrow will see Afghanistan taking on India (3.30pm). A mismatch if ever there is one, the Indians should hardly work up a sweat.

South Africa get their campaign under way against India on Sunday.

No doubt this is the crunch game for  the Proteas  in the pool stages and a win will be vital for confidence.

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