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Page last updated at 09:26 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 10:26 UK

ICC World Twenty20 set to begin in West Indies

ICC World Twenty20, 30 April-16 May
Venues: Guyana, St Lucia and Barbados
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary of selected matches on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and Radio Four Longwave , plus live text commentary and reports on all matches on the BBC Sport website


Pakistan celebrate
Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in the 2009 final in England

The third ICC World Twenty20 tournament begins in Guyana at 1800 BST on Friday with Sri Lanka taking on New Zealand, before West Indies face Ireland.

Defending champions Pakistan begin their campaign on Saturday, on the same day surprise qualifiers Afghanistan take on India in St Lucia.

England, the only major cricketing nation never to have won a global tournament, first play on Monday.

Australia are narrow favourites despite a late injury to paceman Brett Lee.

Both the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 in South Africa, and last June's follow-up in England, were generally regarded as successful tournaments.

By contrast, the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, with half-full stadiums and various restrictions on fans, was a less joyous occasion.

But ICC President David Morgan has promised the upcoming tournament will be "a celebration of all that's good about West Indies cricket." He added: "We're encouraging the people of the Caribbean to bring their enthusiasm and passion for cricket to the matches and make it a memorable event for everyone involved.

"Bring your musical instruments, your songs and cheers, your flags, banners and colourful costumes. And, above all, bring that party spirit for which cricket matches in the West Indies are famous."

Ireland reached the Super Eights last summer after beating Bangladesh but have been less than convincing in their two warm-ups in the West Indies, losing to New Zealand and Afghanistan.

Coach Phil Simmons said: "Two days doesn't change anything. I think it's a case of us making sure that mentally we get prepared for what is the biggest game since we've been on this tour.

"I think the guys are capable of doing that. We've had two bad days but two bad days don't make a summer, as they say. I think we still have the desire to come on Friday and perform."

606: DEBATE
sachin

England go into the tournament on the back of warm-ups wins against Bangladesh and South Africa, though the new top-order pairing of Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter is yet to fire.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan nevertheless holds out hope for Paul Collingwood's men.

He said: "This is the first time I have got excited about the England squad coming into the T20 World Cup. For the first time we have guys in the batting with power from one to seven.

"Maybe we're a little bit inexperienced in the bowling department, but I think it's the batting which has let us down in the past.

"We have had guys who have played in the Indian Premier League - which is a big plus to a team going into a tournament like this. I would be disappointed if we don't put up some kind of fight."

Meanwhile, the West Indies coach, former England bowling coach Ottis Gibson, has come under fire from Caribbean legend Sir Viv Richards.

Recalling Gibson's laid-back behaviour during the second and final Test of the Barbadian's career, which the West Indies lost to South Africa in Cape Town in 1999, Sir Viv said: "I always remember the West Indies losing in South Africa.

"I saw Ottis Gibson with his two feet on the balcony, earphones in. West Indies were just about to go down the chute - and he was having fun, where the music was concerned.

"That has left an impression on me, seeing him in the present position he is now."

The tournament is split into four groups of three with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the Super Eights.

The semi-finals take place in St Lucia on 13 and 14 May and the final in Barbados on 16 May.

The early stages of the women's tournament takes place in St Kitts, while the semi-finals and final of that section of the tournament will take place as double-headers with the men's version.



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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
29 Apr 10 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 teams guide
28 Apr 10 |  Cricket
First two World Twenty20s in photos
26 Apr 10 |  Cricket
Morgan shines in England victory
29 Apr 10 |  England
Bopara leads England to victory
28 Apr 10 |  England
Australia's Lee out of Twenty20
28 Apr 10 |  Cricket
Anderson backs 'fearless' openers
25 Apr 10 |  England
Lumb makes England Twenty20 squad
31 Mar 10 |  England
ICC World Twenty20 2010
17 May 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket


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