George Bailey, Australia’s Twenty20 captain, and Australia women’s team players Jess Cameron and Meg Lanning of the Southern Stars were at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday (13 June) when Haroon Lorgat, the ICC Chief Executive, showcased the ICC World Twenty20 trophies.
Bailey, 29, who led Tasmania to the Sheffield Shield and One Day finals in Australian domestic cricket, expressed his excitement at the prospect of leading Australia in the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 to be held from 18 September to 7 October.
“There will be eight or nine teams arriving in Sri Lanka who will think they have a serious chance of making an impact in this event in Sri Lanka,” Bailey said.
“We know that we are in a dangerous group alongside the West Indies and Ireland and so we will have to be prepared and hit the ground running.”
Bailey, who was part of the Chennai Super Kings squad in the recent Indian Premier League (IPL), admitted that although an opportunity to play failed to materialise, he was able to spend a lot of time practicing.
“The trend is for spinners to have an ever increasing impact in Twenty20 cricket and I am sure that, given the conditions in Sri Lanka that influence will certainly not diminish.”
As Bailey was preparing to leave with Australia for an ODI tour of the UK and Ireland, the Australian women’s team are contemplating an acclimatisation trip to Sri Lanka.
Meg Lanning said, “This pre-tournament trip will give the team some great experience of the conditions we can expect to confront in the ICC World Twenty20.”
Jess Cameron will be hoping that the intense preparation will lead to the first back-to-back success in ICC World Twenty20 history.
She said, “I would love to again experience the excitement of our triumph in Barbados two years ago.
“Our victory over New Zealand came in an outstanding game of cricket and the atmosphere on the night in Bridgetown was fantastic as many of the crowd who had come to see the men’s match stayed on to see our victory.”
As has been the case with the last two ICC World Twenty20s (2009 and 2010), the women’s final will be played on the same day, on the same ground, in front of the same crowd, as the men’s final. In the case of the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 this will be in Colombo on 7 October.
ICC Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat, said: “This is one of the great innovations of ICC World Twenty20 which continues to stand apart from all other Twenty20 cricket.
“We know that there is nothing that appeals to the public and the players in the same way as nation versus nation Twenty20 cricket. National pride will be on the line in Sri Lanka and no one can deny that this makes it a special tournament.
“I wish George well in leading Australia’s men who are seeking to win the one ICC trophy that has eluded them and Jess and Meg the best of luck as they seek to defend the women’s trophy.
“I have been to Sri Lanka recently and felt the buzz and excitement that will greet the players when they arrive in September. It will be a special event that is for sure.”