In a bold move, South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj has ventured to predict the finalists of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, adding an element of excitement to the cricketing world’s anticipation.
T20 World Cup 2024: 55 matches, 9 venues and 20 Teams
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has laid out an extensive 29-day schedule for this tournament, co-hosted by the United States of America (USA) and West Indies, with a groundbreaking 20 teams participating, including debutant nation Uganda.
This edition will feature 55 matches across nine venues, six of which are in the West Indies and the rest in the USA. The West Indies will host the super eight games and the knockout stage, heightening the stakes for teams competing. Set to kick off at the Grand Prairie stadium in Dallas on June 1, 2024, the T20 World Cup promises a spectacular start with an opening clash between the USA and Canada.
Keshav Maharaj’s bold prediction regarding the two finalist
Now Speaking to Sports Tak, Maharaj has expressed his desire to see South Africa face India in the final of the global showpiece event. India and South Africa had a dominant run in the ODI World Cup 2023, finishing first and second, respectively, in the points table after the group stage. While India secured a runners-up finish after losing to Australia in the summit clash, South Africa’s campaign ended with a defeat against Australia in the semi-final. Maharaj highlighted that many Indian fans had hoped for an India vs South Africa final at the last year’s showpiece event.
“We always go there with a directive in mind to try and win the World Cup. Hopefully, we can rectify that. It’ll be amazing to have a South Africa vs India final. After the round robins (2023 ODI World Cup), just hearing the locals in India saying that they want a South Africa-India final,” Maharaj said.
Maharaj’s optimism for SA20 league’s future
Currently captaining Durban’s Super Giants in the ongoing edition of South Africa’s SA20, he discussed how the tournament has made rapid strides in just its second season. Maharaj is optimistic about the South African league matching the standards of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the coming years.
“The standards are quite high in the South African league, just looking at the internationals that are coming and playing across the brand and style of cricket. 200 is being chased down with ease these days. From a skill point of view, we are closing in on the IPL. It’s only been our second year,” the 33-year-old concluded.