The fans at Newlands will be key to MI Cape Town’s success : Mark Boucher

Cape Town : With the much-anticipated SA20 league all set to be played from January 10 to February 11 next year, five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians head coach Mark Boucher feels that the fans in Newlands Cricket Ground will be key contributors in the success of MI Cape Town.

“The fans at the Newlands Cricket Ground are always special, it’s quite a supportive crowd as well, when you play well they get behind you and I think that’s going to be the key to MI CT’s success in Cape Town as well.

MI CT boys will really appreciate the crowd at Newlands,” he said in an official release by the franchise. Boucher, the former South Africa wicketkeeper batter who left as their head coach after the Proteas crashed out of the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, says that The Newlands Cricket Ground will offer an exciting atmosphere for the players to excel.

“It’s a great stadium to play cricket in, it has got a special feel to it. Newlands Cricket Ground has been my favourite ground for a long period of time and I really enjoy playing cricket there and enjoyed coaching as well. There isn’t a better place to play cricket in the world than Newlands.”

MI Cape Town, to be captained by Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, comprises of a solid local South African core of Kagiso Rabada, Dewald Brevis, Rassie van der Dussen, along with international stars like Jofra Archer, Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone.

They will also play in the opening game of SA20 on January 10 against Paarl Royals. MI Cape Town will have Simon Katich as the head coach. Katich will be assisted by Hashim Amla as the batting coach, while Robin Peterson will be the side’s general manager.

James Pamment will take charge as fielding coach, a role which he will do with Mumbai Indians in the IPL. SA20 will be the third time South Africa would be attempting to launch a global franchise T20 league in the country.

In its previous attempts, the attempt to start Global League T20 failed to happen in 2017. Its replacement, the Mzansi Super League was held in 2018 and 2019 but didn’t get the big broadcast rights, with the free-to-air South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) getting broadcast rights for a much smaller sum.
The league hasn’t been played since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will now make way for the SA20. In the IPL, Mumbai are the only team apart from four-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings to successfully defend their title, which they did in 2020.

After missing the playoffs in 2021, the side had a disappointing last-place finish in the ten-team event in IPL 2022, winning just four out of 14 matches in the league stage.


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