Dubai, Aug 22 (IANS) South African skipper Temba Bavuma has said that the upcoming 2021 men’s T20 World Cup serves as a tournament of vital importance for his team and country. South Africa have never made it past the semifinal stage of either the men’s T20 or 50-over World Cups.
“The 2021 ICC T20 World Cup is of vital importance to the Proteas and South Africa as a nation. Not only is the T20 format a key part of Cricket South Africa’s strategy to introduce new fans to the game of cricket, this tournament will also be the first of three opportunities for us to claim our first-ever ICC World Cup trophy,” said Bavuma to icc-cricket.com
South Africa have been drawn in a tough group 1 in the Super 12 stage alongside reigning champions West Indies, 2010 winners England, Australia and two more teams from the first round. South Africa have never made it past the semi-final stage of any senior ICC event.
“The group that we are in is an exciting one and we’re looking forward to facing off with everyone in it as we go about our mission to reach the final and the ultimate championship,” affirmed Bavuma.
South Africa started this year with a 2-1 away series loss to Pakistan in February. It was followed by a 3-1 series loss to the same opposition at home in April. But they bounced back to beat West Indies 3-2 in June and July followed by Ireland 3-0 later in the month.
South Africa will get the chance to decide their combinations ahead of the World Cup when they take on Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series in September.
“We have a really exciting team that we are building with a lot of raw talent, coupled with the experienced hands that will guide and lead the youngsters. We have spent the greater part of the year preparing for this contest and I look forward to leading our country in my first world showpiece as captain,” concluded Bavuma.
South Africa start their T20 World Cup campaign against Australia on October 23 in Abu Dhabi.