High Proteas expectations from Graeme Smith ahead of T20 World Cup

High Proteas expectations from Graeme Smith ahead of T20 World Cup

Despite an erratic build-up to the T20 World Cup next month, former Proteas captain Graeme Smith has high hopes the side can go all the way.

South Africa open their campaign against Sri Lanka on Monday in New York, with clashes against Netherlands, Bangladesh and Nepal to follow.  

Smith is confident in the squad coach Rob Walters has assembled for the showpiece in the West Indies and USA.

"Absolutely, I think it would give me the most pleasure to see cricket in this country win a trophy and be successful – for this country, not only SA20," said Smith.

"That would be an incredible story if the guys can go to the US and Caribbean, and I think when you look at our squad, there's a lot of talent there, firepower in a lot of departments, and this is what you need in T20 [cricket].

‘Biff’, currently serving as the SA20 Commissioner, says he is also impressed by the quality pool of players reflected in the Proteas team heading into the tournament, largely thanks to the platform the groundbreaking domestic T20 competition has provided.

"I think the things for me, that we're starting to see, is everyone could probably count 10, 11, or 12 top players in the T20 format in South Africa," he added.

"But now suddenly you've added another 5-10 names in the two season that probably weren't in the conversation before SA20 began.

"If you look at the IPL stats, South Africa's now probably got the most representatives from a player perspective outside of India.

"So, there's already been good growth and exposure for players and the development of players, and from the start we said we want to see an elevation of a crop of players get better and better every year – we introduced the Rookie last year, and hopefully this will start to become a storyline in years to come."

READ: Rob Walter: 'World-class performer' Anrich Nortje will be back to his best