As soon as the IPL festival wraps up in a month from now, the best players in the world will head to England for another big ticket event: the Twenty20 World Cup. While most spots are taken in India's squad, there are a few that are yet to be firmed up.
"I think it gives a very good opportunity for a lot of youngsters to showcase their talent, which is very important," says chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who is present at the IPL. "Yes, all of us selectors are also able to look at them and have a broader picture of what's happening in Indian cricket."
Srikkanth is making the most of his time in South Africa. But soon the chairman of selectors will have to pick the 15 men who will try and defend India's Twenty20 World Cup title in England. Most of the players pick themselves, but there are a few spots ready to be taken.
The ICC, ECB and MCC have agreed that all ticket holders for Saturday of the first Test match at Lord’s will not only receive a full refund but also the opportunity to get a 50 per cent discount for one of the two Lord’s warm-up days for the ICC T20 world cup in June.
After discussions, following England’s victory against the West Indies, it was agreed that the spectators who were scheduled to come to Lord’s for the fourth day of the Test match should receive a chance to be part of the ICC World Twenty20.
There will be a 50 per cent discount for one of the warm-up days - either June 1 or June 3 - when you present a valid ticket for the Saturday of the first Test match at the North Gate ticket office on the day of the game. The Lord's tournament ticket office opens on June 1, 2009.
The warm-up matches are Ireland v Netherlands and New Zealand v India on June 1 or Sri Lanka v South Africa and England v West Indies on June 3.
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is confident that his latest groin injury will not keep him out of the T20 world cup next month in England.
Watson injured himself during the seven-wicket loss to Pakistan in the Twenty20 match in Dubai last Thursday, which was the final fixture of the short tour. He was forced to return to Australia and had to skip the ongoing Indian Premier League in South Africa.
The 29-year-old Queensland cricketer is just raring to return to action with his improvised bowling action which he feels would help him perform better.
Team doctor Trefor James described the injury as a mild strain, but said the injury-prone big-hitter would need scans upon return to Australia.
If Watson misses the June event, it will severely damage Australia's chances, given his strong recent form with the bat and his Twenty20 expertise.
He topped the scoring in the recent five-match one-day series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and impressed in a brief but explosive Twenty20 innings on Thursday night.
The setback is the latest in a long line of injuries for Watson, who has suffered a draining run of structural and soft-tissue injuries, which have severely limited his international cricket.
The ICC T20 world cup England 2009 will be held in June 2009 and provides the opportunity to see the very best players in the world, representing their countries, showcasing Twenty20 cricket on a global stage.
It will be the second ICC World Twenty20 with the inaugural event taking place in South Africa in 2007, when India defeated Pakistan in the final.
The 2009 event sees both the men’s and women’s tournament integrated for the first time. The men’s tournament format consists of 12 teams, played across three venues – Lord’s, Trent Bridge and The Oval. The women’s tournament consists of eight teams with the group stage games hosted at Taunton.
The semi-final days hosted at Trent Bridge and The Oval and the finals day hosted at Lord’s will bring the two tournaments together with the men’s matches following the women’s match on each match-day.A key feature of the 2009 event is that the majority of match-days will include two games showcasing four different teams. This double-header format allows spectators to view two games for the price of one match-day ticket.
Keep up to date with all the news ahead of the competition here.
Defending champions India have been placed in an easy group A -- alongside Bangladesh and Zimbabwe -- for the 2009 ICC T20 World Cup in England.
Since not enough matches have been played in the shortest format of the game to allow viable official rankings, the Board decided to group teams on the basis of their finishing positions in the inaugural edition of the championship this year.
ODI world champions Australia have been placed in group C along with Sri Lanka and West Indies.
Group A: India, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe
Group B: Pakistan, England, Associate 1
Group C: Australia, Sri Lanka, West Indies
Group D: New Zealand, South Africa, Associate 2.