The Aussies are coming

2010-09-04 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa will soon be awash with Australian cricketers, with the South Australia Redbacks and the Victoria Bushrangers arriving this weekend to prepare for the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20), which gets under way on September 10.

Ever confident, the Australians are focused on demonstrating their dominance in this form of the game. An Australian team — the New South Wales Blues — won the first edition of the CLT20 in India in 2009, and the Redbacks and Bushrangers have let it be known that they intend to take the trophy back to Australia again.

Dean Kino, Cricket Australia’s representative on the CLT20 governing council and one of the creators of the event, believes Australia’s KFC Twenty20 Big Bash is one of the strongest domestic Twenty20 tournaments in the world and that the Australian teams in the CLT20 will be highly competitive.

“Victoria continues to set the standard in world domestic Twenty20 cricket with four KFC Big Bash titles in five years ... conditions in South Africa should suit their versatile squad.”

“South Australia, although weakened by the absence of international imports Kieron Pollard [West Indies] and Shahid Afridi [Pakistan], could well cause an upset,” continued Kino. “They are a well-rounded unit, and with Shaun Tait, Callum Ferguson, Dan Christian and a new captain in Michael Klinger — a prodigious scorer of runs at the domestic level — they have serious potential to surprise.”

The Redbacks are not generally household names in South Africa, but Shaun Tait is regarded as one of the world’s fastest bowlers, and will be looking to dominate in the CLT20.

The Bushrangers, on the other hand, are full of names that will be familiar to South African cricket fans.

“Dirk Nannes is arguably the best ever quick in Twenty20 cricket,“ Kino added, “and together with Peter Siddle, they will form an electric new ball combination.” The Bushrangers have a superb batting lineup, with the two top T20 domestic batsmen — Brad Hodge and David Hussey, and the extremely dangerous Andrew McDonald.

Internationals Mike Hussey, Doug Bollinger and Cameron White will be playing for their IPL franchises — Hussey and Bollinger for the Chennai Super Kings and White for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Bollinger was instrumental in Chennai winning the IPL title earlier this year and Hussey and White are recognised as two of the world’s premier T20 players.

With cricketers of this calibre arriving in South Africa, cricket fans can look forward to three weeks of rock-and-roll cricket.

The Airtel CLT20 is a 17-day, 23-match extravaganza featuring 10 of the world’s top franchise teams, battling it out for Twenty20 glory, from 10-26 September.

Tickets for CLT20 are also available from Computicket. Tickets are priced from R30 to R200. Fans can also purchase tickets directly from the host venues.

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