Graeme Smith hopes the SA20 will help end South Africa’s World Cup wait.

Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher are hopeful that SA20, South Africa’s new franchise T20 league, will help the national team finally win the World Cup.
“I actually thought we had a strong team going into this World Cup in Australia, I thought we had a good chance,” SA20 commissioner Smith said at an event in Mumbai. “But obviously we were disappointed with the way we finished. I think what we want to create in this league is that there’s a lot of talent – hopefully we’re under pressure at world level. Will be able to develop this talent to play.

“I know I keep talking about the IPL but you see the number of strong cricketers in the IPL,” Smith said. “Given the effort to find 15 players, hopefully in the next two years 25-35 players will be at the level where it becomes very difficult for the selectors. People who are used to playing big games, they are big. come to the fore in sports. Unfortunately, South Africa have to deal with these questions all the time until they actually win a tournament.”

South Africa have not won a single Men’s World Cup in 16 attempts – eight ODI World Cups and eight T20 World Cups. While they have come close several times in the knockout games, they have failed to make it to the semi-finals in five of the last six ICC White Ball events. In the 2022 T20 World Cup, South Africa lost their final group match to the Netherlands and failed to advance to the knockout stage.

Boucher, whose tenure as South Africa’s head coach ended after the T20 World Cup, said the IPL – where he will now coach Mumbai Indians – was one of the reasons for India’s success in global tournaments. Since the IPL began in 2008 – India, however, in 2011 – has won just one World Cup.

“There are reasons to have the World Cup in your cabinet,” Boucher said of India. “It’s because of the big stages, people playing in finals and semi-finals. The more you play these games, the better you get. [SA20] Also going to be on the big stage. You are going to see young people. The boys will be put in situations they are not used to and it will be interesting to see who comes through. Then once that happens, our coaches and selectors can evaluate and pick the guys that are needed for the big moments and the big events.”

However, South Africa’s direct qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup remains in the balance. They are currently 11th in the Super League with just five matches remaining, and need at least three wins to try to break into the top eight with direct qualification for next year’s World Cup. shall be.

South Africa have won just five of their 16 Super League matches so far, losing three ODIs in Australia to keep all their top players available for the start of the SA20 in January.

Smith said South Africa had brought the situation on themselves by playing “bad” cricket, and the CSA had no choice but to prioritize SA20 at the time. CSA chief executive Folletsi Moseki had earlier said the board had taken the risk of pulling out of the series against Australia with an eye on “securing the long-term sustainability of the game” in South Africa.

“I think South Africa’s World Cup qualification was bad because they played badly. I mean they had a lot of time to get over it,” Smith said. “I think the cancellation of the three ODIs, I actually feel for Cricket South Africa in a lot of ways, because I know those three ODIs were done to open a window for the league. International cricket in South Africa, such as the IPL, for one period each year.

“Australia never travel on Boxing Day or New Year’s Eve. England are never away from home in the summer. It’s unbelievable that South African cricket has still decided to get zero revenue this year. will because they are going to Australia for three Tests.” So, I know they found a way to make those three ODIs work with Cricket Australia, but it just wasn’t practical, and eventually South African cricket had to choose … it was going to start. She’s in a league of her own and she needed to give her a chance and make a proper statement that she was going to make it.”

South Africa have not played a festival series in Australia since 2008, for reasons cited by Smith. Former CSA CEO Gerald Majula discussed in previous FTPs that South Africa would only visit Australia outside the Christmas-New Year period to maximize domestic revenue. The series was decided in the 2019-2023 FTP, which was developed during the post-Majola period. Cricket South Africa hosts just one upcoming tour this season, against the West Indies, but will begin the SA20 this summer.


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