Vincent excited at new era

Lou Vincent, the New Zealand batsman, is in confident mood ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 though insists that, aged 28, now is the time for him to perform on a consistent basis.

"It's been my downfall before that I throw my bat a bit early on and make a monkey of myself," he said in Johannesburg on Wednesday, "but in Twenty20 cricket, as an opener, the game is ideally set up for me. The new ball goes further and if I can set the run-rate going at a good rate and lay the platform for a big score then I'll be satisfied.

"If you look in the dictionary under Twenty20, it will probably say 'a short game. You watch for three hours, you don't fall asleep and you don't ever leave your chairs. Three hours of wham! bam!' That's probably the longest definition ever in a dictionary and in Latin it probably just says 'good times'.

"But Twenty20 is fast and I'd like to see this tournament played every year."

Vincent is one of New Zealand's more agile players, and he insists that fielding will have a vital role to play in the ICC World Twenty next week.

"Fielding will make a massive difference, especially in a place like Durban," he said. "It's a bigger ground and the ball doesn't travel so far down there on the coast, so it calls for a lot of twos when you are batting. The fielding side has to make sure they have their quicker guys on the boundary to attack the ball. The 10 or 15 runs they can save can be crucial at the end."

Vincent, who made an outstanding start to his international career in 2001, has since struggled to cement his place. Aged 28, he concedes that it's now or never for him.

"Early on, it's an exciting time in your career and as you progress you have to adapt and learn as you go through all the ups and downs," he said. "But then you come to the business end of your career when you've learnt the game and you need to keep improving. So I'm definitely taking this tournament very seriously, because I know that if I don't perform I won't be in the team.

"It's an exciting new era for us, we will miss Stephen Fleming, he obviously played a massive part in this team, but Daniel Vettori is taking over at an appropriate time, he's been playing international cricket for the last nine or 10 years.

"We're all around 28 or 29 years old and it's time for us, we're all coming to the business end of our careers."