September 11, 2007

S Rajesh and Andrew McGlashan at the 2007 ICC World Twenty20

Prepare to blast off

Andrew McGlashan
A view of the Table Mountain
 © Andrew McGlashan
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Flying out of Johannesburg this morning, the pilot announced smooth conditions all the way to Cape Town. Half-an-hour before landing he said there was a cold-front moving in and by the time we landed he warned us "it's not particularly nice out there, the wind is gusting to 45kph so hold on to your hats." The weather changes swiftly in these parts.

The last thing the ICC World Twenty20 needs is any intervention from the elements, although having said that any wash-outs are decided with a bowl-out, a nightmare for professional cricketers. But while staging matches in Johannesburg and Durban is a fairly safe bet at this time of year, Cape Town is a different matter.

They are coming out of one of their wettest winters and even some of the locals are saying it feels a bit too early for cricket. "Freezing" was a colleague's response when asked how he was after attending Australia's training session at Newlands.

During the afternoon, the clouds continued to billow down the sides of Table Mountain creating the effect know as the "table cloth." But fluffy white soon turned to ominous grey and by nightfall it was raining. There will be some anxious glances skywards over the next few days.

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There is a massive amount of construction work take place throughout South Africa as the country gets ready to host the 2010 football world cup. Cape Town airport is growing new terminals while the transport network is being improved and new stadiums built. There is huge anticipation and the tournament will complete a full set of hosting the three major world cups following rugby in 1994 and cricket in 2003. They are counting down the days, literally. Leaving Cape Town airport there is a huge countdown clock: 1004 days to go.

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Just as our flight was about to leave Johannesburg the captain came across with his usual pre take-off announcement. "Cabin crew seats for departure" before adding "and prepare for blast off." Even the pilots are getting into Twenty20 spirit.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew McGlashan
Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.

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