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T20 cricket hits everyone for six!

International Twenty20 cricket received a warm African welcome amid dazzling entertainment at a packed Wanderers Stadium last night.

While President Thabo Mbeki’s “I am an African” speech warmed the hearts of many locals, DJ Lady Lea’s hypnotic brand of House music fed the loins and the soul. This was cricket T20-style, at its most basic, most raw and most exciting; where fast meets furious, and furious is prone to spontaneous combustion.

Sure, there were fireworks, scantily-clad dancers and music so loud it will still be ringing in the ears today, but there was an overwhelming sense of “let’s get it on” wafting through the stadium. A brilliant band of musicians drummed up support among the locals, not that they needed much encouragement. The rhythm proved irresistible on the day for anyone who was not comatose.

Even a few International Cricket Council members were caught bopping to the beat. Indeed, South Africa is playing host to a revolution – cricket just got “bootylicious”; no, the hips didn’t lie last night.

South African audiences may be accustomed to 20-over cricket by now, but last night they played their part in taking the game to another level. Johannesburg had gathered for action and once the formality of Sport Minister Makhenkesi Stofile opening the tournament was over, it was time to bring on the noise and bring out the funk – T20-style.

Stofile said South Africa was honoured to host the tournament. “Twenty20 cricket is a 21st century sport, and we are delighted to be the first hosts of the world tournament in this exciting new format,” he said. “This tournament will strengthen unity within our country as well as creating stronger ties among the nations of the world.”

As spectators entered the ground, first-comers were given hard hats (for protection against a flurry of sixes!) and inflatable “clappers” to help them applaud boundaries and wickets.

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Categories: Cricket Article, twenty20
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