World T20 will be tougher this time, says SLanka captain

February 9, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene on Monday predicted a more competitive Twenty20 world championships in England this year, saying teams were getting used to the new format.

“We have learnt how to approach this game, so it will be much tougher this time,” said Jayawardene after launching a world-wide tour of the tournament’s trophy here.

Mahendra Dhoni’s India won the inaugural edition of the World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007 after beating Pakistan in the final.

Jayawardene, whose Sri Lankan team failed to reach the semi-finals, said he looked forward to the second edition, to be staged in England from June 5-21.

“Not every team knew how to approach the game in South Africa,” he said.

“But playing some Twenty20 cricket over the last two years has given us more experience. We have seen different tactics and how different people approach the game.”

Jayawardene said the swinging ball in English conditions will change the way the big-scoring format is played.

“Teams have scored 180 to 200 in a Twenty20 game, but it will not be easy in England as even 120 or 130 might be a winning total in those conditions,” he said.

Jayawardene said